Jim Taylor paid Thateldo the ultimate compliment after the Charge Forward gelding overcame a wide barrier to win the Westralian Diamond Drillers Handicap (1000m).
“He is an honest horse and apart from Barakey as good a three-year-old as I’ve ever had,” said Taylor.
“It’s onwards and upwards for him and as a four-year-old you would think he will only get better.”
Thateldo, part-owned by Taylor’s wife, daughter and mother, has failed to miss the money with six wins and as many placings from 12 starts.
Brett Pope celebrated his first metropolitan double when Baytorio and Prohurst Express saluted with impressive wins.
The latter was making his return to racing since the Challenge Stakes (1500m) in February and gave apprentice Chanelle O’Grady the second leg of a double.
Baytorio hit the front at the top of the straight and dug deep to stave off a strong challenge from the well supported Step Right Up.
“A tough, tough effort and the horse is doing it himself,” said Pope.
“They started to come at him but he digs deep when it counts.
“That’s what you need if you are going to make the grade.”
Top Show was the widest runner on straightening but swept home for Steve Parnham to land her maiden win in the Passages Resource Centre Handicap (1300m).
Keysbrook was half-a-length second with hot favourite Cuanzo third.
Top Show turned the tables on Cuanzo after two previous placings and inflicted the gelding’s first career defeat.
“She is a nice filly with a reasonable future,” said trainer Neville Parnham.
“She is not the best two-year-old I have but is certainly a progressive type.
“Looking at her you would expect her to be a better three-year-old.”
Adam Durrant believes the claim of Chanelle O’Grady was pivotal in Peck getting the better of a gallant Operational.
With a 4kg weight swing over the runner up, Peck grinded away in driving rain to score by a narrow neck margin.
“These horses are no world beaters but they are honest stayers,” said Durrant.
“I thought it was such an even race and going for a claim was the edge we might need.”
On The Ropes was ultra-impressive on his return, scorching over the final 200m to reel in pacesetter It’s A Merc and win by a half-length.
“He was pretty fresh and I don’t think he is 1000m horse,” said trainer, Fred Kersley.
“But he settled well and was well ridden by Stevie (Parnham).
“It’s nice to have a horse with this type of ability and harnessing that ability is the challenge.”
Not to be outdone by his brother, Brad Parnham rode aggressively and positively on race seven victor, Fancy Feet.
The Fath mare was wide for the majority of the Secure Computer Recycling & Disposal Handicap (1650m) but kept finding.
The longer the race went the stronger she got, stretching out to space runner-up Tower Of Lonhro by 2 ¾ lengths.
“She is the stable favourite and has been great to be,” said trainer, Shane Quilty.
“She just seems to be getting better and better.
“We’ll step her out to 2200m before putting her away for the summer.
“I would love to have a crack at the Perth Cup.”
William Pike had Fashion Princess out of trouble and in clear running room before she closed out the last.
“She was the widest on the corner but that saved her getting held up,” said owner, Bob Peters.
“She is a nice mare who won pretty well and showed us what she can do.”