Spin The Knife came out of Saturday’s Crown Perth 3YO Classic (1000m) in top order and reaffirmed trainer Luke Fernie’s belief in the Snippetson gelding.
Chasing a winning hat trick, Spin The Knife was gunned down in the shadows of the post by the fast-finishing Liwa after recovering from an awkward start.
Spin The Knife dipped when the gates opened but under jockey Paul Harvey, he gathered pace to take an inside run and hit the lead 200m out.
Suffering his first defeat this preparation, Spin The Knife ran bravely for second, beaten a head, after Liwa had the drop from the back of the field.
“He ran well and came pretty close,” Fernie told The Races WA.
“He wasn’t afforded all the favours.
“He is a very nice horse who I have an opinion of.
“The race confirmed he was as good as I thought.
“He has pulled up a treat from the run.
“I might be dreaming, but he will target the Winterbottom.
“It could a good time to have a crack if the eastern states horses don’t come.”
Spin The Knife and stable mates Iseered Iseered, Mervyn, Ziebell and Outrageous were among 66 nominations for the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200) at Ascot on November 27.
Meanwhile Fernie’s Green and Shady can build on his Kalgoorlie maiden win at Ascot on Wednesday.
The Vert De Grece three-year-old carries topweight against three other rivals in the Wiluna Mining Handicap (1400m).
“He’s not a big horse and I’m a little worried by the 59kg,” Fernie said.
“I’m still not sure if he will go that way or Northam on Thursday.
“Whichever way he goes he will be competitive.”
Hear Me is the $3.30 Tabtouch second favourite to breakthrough in the Murlpirrmarra Connection Maiden (1500m).
The former eastern states runner, winless in 11 starts, jumps from barrier two for Paul Harvey.
“I actually like the horse and think he can make Saturday grade,” Fernie said.
“I thought his last run at Northam was good.
“I think it’s going to take him longer, but in 12 months I’m sure he will mature.”
Pastry can bow out of racing on a high in the GTT Ventures Trophy Handicap (1200m).
The Gingerbread Man mare ran an unlucky fourth last start at Kalgoorlie when she was help up for a clear run.
“We’re having another throw at the stumps, but this could be her last run before the breeding barn,” Fernie said.
“Hopefully she can go out with a win.”