Co-trainers Daniel and Ben Pearce scored a race-to-race double with stable jockey Joseph Azzopardi at Bunbury on Wednesday when three-year-old’s Cliffs Of Comfort and Lyle’s Choice each broke their maiden statuses in nice fashion.
Cliffs Of Comfort ($26), a Canford Cliffs gelding, was making his race debut after overcoming a series of setbacks when leading from go-to-whoa in the TABtouch – Better Your Bet Maiden (1200m).
The three-year-old rewarded the faith and persistence of his connections after making a successful return from a broken pelvis sustained in his first barrier trial in April last year, as well as a throat operation in 2018.
With the benefit of two lead-up trials prior to Wednesday’s race, Cliffs Of Comfort began well and found the rail in front before giving a strong kick at the top of the home straight and romping away to an authoritative one-and-a-half length victory.
Mr Delegator ($4.60) finished in second place, with well-supported race favourite Giant Leap ($1.75) a nose away in third.
The following event on the nine-race Bunbury Stakes card saw Lyle’s Choice ($3.40), a fresh addition to the Pearce yard, finish powerfully from the tail of the nine-horse field to take out the Furphy – Refreshing Ale Maiden (1400m).
Also ridden by Azzopardi, the Alfred Nobel gelding savaged the line to over-run short-priced favourite Oristano ($1.50) by more a length, with Moama Rose ($9) a further five lengths away in third place.
Lyle’s Choice was having his third start for his campaign but only his first for the Pearce Racing team after switching from Grant and Alana Williams’ stable since his previous race outing on February 13.
Meanwhile, stablemate She’s Got Merit ($6.50) went within a nose of bringing up a winning treble for Azzopardi and the Pearces’ at Bunbury when rattling home to finish second to Strasmore ($6.50) by the barest of margins later in the day.
Fellow Pearce Racing-trained galloper Superior Smile, a place-getter in the Narrogin Cup, Albany Cup and Esperance Cup at his past three starts, is entered to race in this Sunday’s $120,000 Listed Bunbury Cup (2000m).
[PHOTO: Western Racepix]