Jason Miller summed it up best when he said: ‘Wow’.
Miller, deputising for trainer Adam Durrant, was reacting to Tick Tick Bloom’s pulsating win in the Listed WAROA-Belmont Guineas (1600m) at Belmont Park.
The $100,000 feature, which was billed as one of the best editions of the Belmont Guineas in recent years, failed to disappoint with an exciting finish.
Tick Tick Bloom, ridden coolly, calmly and clinically by champion jockey William Pike, rallied home from last to grab victory in the last stride.
The winning margin was a nose by a half-head with Midnight Shimmer and Happy With Kendel fighting it out gallantly for second and third place respectively.
Tick Tick Bloom made it a winning hat trick and gave Durrant his second consecutive win in the Listed race.
The Viscount filly appears to have the upcoming Belmont Oaks (2000m) and Belmont Classic (2200m) at her mercy
Neville Parnham and his jockey son, Brad, combined for a double after wins to Top Show and Dominating respectively.
Top Show, who started a warm favourite, dashed to the front in the straight and cleared away to defeat Keysbrook by 1 ½ lengths.
Boom Time ran third.
Top Show turned the tables on Keysbrook after running a narrow second to the Phil Humann-trained filly when they last met on June 7.
Keysbrook settled ninth of 11 for Shaun McGruddy and despite running the race out well she was never going to reel in the winner.
Parnham said Top Show, a daughter of Stratum, would go for a spell before targeting feature three-year-old races in the summer.
“She is a filly who is on the way up and keeps improving,” he said.
“She is on the way to making a real nice horse.
“She has shown me enough now to probably consider the Champion Fillies.”
Dominating dug deep when he looked beaten and speared his way between runners to pick up Trading Day in the Perth Racing VIP Package Handicap (1400m).
The Snitzel gelding, who was racing second-up this campaign, made it six wins from 18 starts including five from nine outings at Belmont Park
Simon Miller missed the spoils with Platinum Rocker in Brisbane but he would have been delighted by the return of Wild Stratus in the Westspeed 3YO Handicap (1000m).
Giving Pike his first winner of the afternoon, the Hurricane Sky filly raced forward and wide in torrential downpour before getting the better of leader Ignition.
Wild Stratus, making her first appearance in six months, keeps her undefeated record intact after three life time starts.
Fred Kersley only had Operational to saddle up but he went home with a perfect strike rate after the Tiger Hill gelding scored in the Westspeed Stayers’ Handicap (2200m).
Up against a field of just four runners, Operational, who settled second for Mitchell Pateman, gathered in Fancy Feet to win by a long-neck.
Favourite Ora Dare battled on for third.
“He has been remarkably consistent and appreciates the track,” said Kersley.
Kersley said Operational, who has been racing since December, was likely to back up again.
Lindsey Smith says he has found the key to Flying Time who spaced his nearest rival by two lengths when winning the Vale Ivan Jones Handicap (1000m).
The Heritage four-year-old failed to flatter last campaign but has struck back hard to claim his third straight win in dominant fashion.
“I have a good opinion of him and have worked out you can’t give him too much work,” said Smith.
David Harrison has prepared a winner at the past four Belmont meetings including McScar who sent punters reeling in the first leg of the quaddie.
The McFlirt seven-year-old relished the wintry conditions and fought back after being headed to defeat Mendicity by just under a length.
McScar, who at $65 commenced the rank outsider, ended a losing drought of 630 days.
“He was on the way to Broome if he didn’t perform,” said Harrison.
Trade Down continues to display improvement when he made it two wins from as many starts in the last of the day: the Ascend Sales Trophies Handicap (1000m).
“He is impressing me with the way he is going,” said trainer George Daly.