Daniel and Ben Pearces’ progressive four-year-old Vital Silver faces his biggest challenge yet at Belmont today.

The talented Wanted gelding, a winner at four of six race starts, will have to jump from barrier 13 in a field of 14 in the Heineken 3 Handicap (1400m). 

The big grey was a dominant winner in the Sky Racing TV Provincial Championship Series final a fortnight ago and will have in-form apprentice Tayla Stone aboard for the first time to alleviate his top-weight to 58kg.

Vital Silver has been installed the $3.20 pre-post favourite for the event, with stablemate and fellow last-start winner, Trakiato, rated a $9.50 chance in the same race.

Trakiato has won two of his three starts to date and resumed first-up from a spell with a grinding victory over 1200m at Belmont on May 30.

The three-year-old will be partnered by Alan Kennedy for the first time in a race and another forward showing will see him a likely starter in the $100,000 Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m) on June 23.

The Toorak Toff gelding has drawn barrier six and will carry 55kg.

Meanwhile, the Pearce stable will saddle-up three other runners at Belmont’s eight-race Beaufine Stakes meeting.

Gingerbread Man two-year-old Essential Spice made an eye-catching debut when racing greenly and finishing second to Market Ruler, who she meets again today, two weeks ago.

The filly currently sits on the third line of betting at $7.00 in today’s Magic Millions Plate (1000m), behind Market Ruler ($1.45) and debutant Baron Bostock ($4.60), and the Pearce brothers are expecting natural improvement with the benefit of race experience.

Kennedy retains the mount aboard Essential Spice and the pair will jump from barrier seven in a field of 10.

Consistent five-year-old Pushin’ Shapes will be looking to go one better in the Amelia Park Lamb Handicap (1600m) later in the day following runner-up finishes at his past two outings.

The Viscount gelding rattled home to finish just a half-head second to My Greek Boy on May 12 before a gallant performance behind boom mare, Galaxy Star, on May 26.

Pushin’ Shapes ($7.50) is likely to appreciate a drop in grade today, however, he’ll have to carry 59.5 kilos after apprentice Andrew Castle’s 2kg claim.

The Pearces’ undefeated three-year-old Dickoletto ($21) will make his race return in the Lavazza Plate (1400m) after a solid Belmont trial win when defeating Card Night by a short-head on May 28.

The unorthodox Dick Turpin gelding burst onto the scene with wins at his only two starts last summer but faces a sharp rise in class against a quality 14-horse field and will need luck jumping from barrier nine.

Kennedy is also booked to ride Dickoletto, who is likely to join Trakiato in the Belmont Guineas in a fortnight’s time.

Pearce Racing have entered 12 runners for next Wednesday and Thursday’s respective Belmont and Pinjarra meetings.

[PHOTO: Vital Silver {Western Racepix}]

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