Ben and Daniel Pearce’s stable continued its hot form when landing a winning double and a second placing from three runners at Ascot on Saturday.
Multiple stakes-winning four-year-old Money Maher made an emphatic return from injury when taking out the Vinnies WA Handicap (1400m) stylishly in his first race start for almost 12 months.
Now a gelding, the son of Al Maher strained a suspensory ligament in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphetville on May 12 last year but put the writing on the wall for a successful comeback when trialling superbly on two occasions last month, the most recent when winning a 950m heat at Lark Hill on April 15.
Ridden by regular jockey Jarrad Noske, Money Maher started the $3.20 favourite on Saturday and made light work of his opposition, storming home from seventh position in running to defeat Majinika ($3.40) by more than two lengths.
Showcase ($5.40) finished a further half-length away in third place.
The win was Money Maher’s sixth from 18 career starts, extending his stake earnings to $336,900.
Later in the day, stablemate Superior Smile ($8.60) scored back-to-back wins when leading from go to whoa in the Neometals Handicap (1800m) and dead-heating with race favourite Ping Me Another ($3.00).
Also ridden by Noske, the Patronize four-year-old worked across from the outside barrier in the 12-horse field before kicking clear upon straightening, however, Ping Me Another rallied strongly and the pair eventually dead-locked on the line.
Superior Smile has now won six of his 28 starts, with earnings now in excess of $150,000 including Westspeed bonuses.
Meanwhile, Pearce-trained galloper Dickoletto ($11.30) ran a mighty race in the final event on the eight-race card, the End Homelessness Handicap (1400m), when finishing two lengths second to Settlers Creek ($7.90)
The Dick Turpin gelding was posted four-wide for the majority of the race after jumping from the outside barrier in the 12-horse field but fought on tenaciously to hold second spot by a three-quarter length from Debellatio ($9.00).
Fellow Dick Turpin four-year-old, Gunflint, will be Pearce Racing’s sole representation at tomorrow’s opening Northam meeting of the season.
The Pearce brothers have now trained in excess of 100 winners since commencing their training partnership on August 1, 2017.
[PHOTO: Western Racepix]