Testa Rossa three-year-old Racy Ava will fly the feature race flag for the Pearce stable in today’s Kirin Megumi W.A Oaks (2400m) at Ascot.
The filly currently sits on the third line of betting ($13) for the $250,000 Group Three event behind raging favourite Friar Fox ($1.90) and Private Dancer ($8.50).
Daniel and Ben Pearce were initially aiming for a Group-winning double on the nine-race card, however, Agent Pippa has been sensationally scratched from the $500,000 Group Two Karrakatta Plate (1200m) due to a hoof abscess.
The Demerit two-year-old, a last-start winner in the Group Three Gimcrack Stakes, was on the fourth line of betting for WA’s premier juvenile race.
The Pearce brothers are hopeful Racy Ava will be able to ease the disappointment of Agent Pippa’s scratching somewhat by a forward showing in the W.A Oaks.
To be ridden by regular hoop Joseph Azzopardi, Racy Ava had drawn ideally in barrier two and the stable are confident she’ll stay the 2400m journey.
She comes into the race from an alternative lead-up, having been an impressive winner by more than two lengths over 1800m two starts back before finishing a short-neck second to older stablemate Let’s Twist over 1690m last time out.
Meanwhile, Scandal Keeper four-year-old Tips And Scandals will be looking to break her maiden status for the Pearces when she lines up in the TABtouch Maiden (1400m) in the opening event on the program.
The lightly-raced mare currently holds $2.20 favouritism for the race on the back of two encouraging efforts since resuming from a spell, the most recent when finishing a half-length second to Thisaway, who has since franked that form with an Ascot win on Wednesday.
Alan Kennedy retains the mount aboard Tips And Scandals and the pair will have to overcome an awkward alley, jumping from barrier nine in a field of 10.
Statue Of Liberty mare Let’s Twist ($12) will be looking to score back-to-back wins later on in the day when she contests the Amelia Park Lamb Handicap (1800m).
The five-year-old produced a strong all-the-way win over 1690m at Bunbury on April 4 but faces a rise in grade today.
Her chances have been helped by drawing barrier one whilst also having Jarrad Noske remain in the saddle.
Pearce-trained colt Money Maher will be looking to land the stable’s biggest win in next Saturday’s $400,000 Group Two WATC Derby (2400m) after taking out the Listed J.C Roberts Stakes and Listed Melvista Stakes at his past two starts.