The Ben Pearce-trained Danablue put in an impressive first-up performance to take out the $30,000 Talk About Taste DBC-South West Summer Sizzle (1208m) at Bunbury on Australia Day.

Danablue was well beaten in a Lark Hill barrier trial over 950 metres earlier this month, but turned in an impressive performance in the feature event at Bunbury.

The five-year-old was among the leading fancies, with last start Ascot winner Cougar Nights sent out the punters elect.

Danablue raced in the first four for a majority of the trip, before Alan Kennedy brought the gelding to the outside as the field straightened, and was able to run down pace-setter Our Pu Bear who weakened out late, while Monteverdi and Fringed finished second and third respectively.

Pearce said the gelding had now earned a crack at the Listed Pinjarra Classic (1300m) and Bunbury Stakes (1400m) on February 22 and March 8 respectively.

“That was his target race for this campaign, and I thought if he wins that well he can have a crack at the Pinjarra Classic and the Bunbury Stakes, so that is where he will go now,” he said.

“1200 or 1300 is his best distance, he has won three times over 1200, and he seems to go well fresh over the short distances.”

Pearce said he wasn’t too concerned about the poor trial performance at Lark Hill, and suggested Danablue doesn’t handle some tracks well.

“He has never normally trialled well in the past,” he said.

“He doesn’t run a yard around Ascot either, he just seems to struggle around the turns.”

The gelding had shown in the past his ability to mix it with the quality gallopers in Perth, highlighted by his win at Belmont last September when he beat home black-type winners Miss Rose De Lago and Antique Belle.

Pearce said he two-year-old Chanzig was in good order ahead of his return to racing this Saturday at Ascot, and said he would progress to the Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic (1200m) on February 14 if everything went to plan.

Another of Pearce’s talented gallopers Vampi Lass is also set to run on Magic Millions day, with the Group 3 winner likely to contest the Listed Detonator Stakes (1800m).

Tim Walker

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