[PHOTO: Western Racepix]

Blackfriars five-year-old Black Fantasy brought up his third win at Listed level at Ascot on Saturday when leading from start to finish in the $125,000 G.A. Towton Cup (2200m).

Ridden by William Pike, the exciting gelding was backed into $1.80 favouritism and enjoyed a sweet run in front before getting pressured and headed by Neufbosc in the straight but he kicked back strongly to defeat stablemate Queen Alina ($4.20) by a three-quarter length in a Pearce Racing quinella.

Neufbosc ($18) finished a further long neck away in third place.

Black Fantasy had more than 15 months away from racing after sustaining a tendon injury last year but has returned in top form and looks one of the leading contenders for the $1 million Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on January 1.

Purchased for $36,000 at the 2020 Perth Magic Millions yearling sale, he’s now had 18 career starts for five wins, nine minor placings and $534,870 in stake and Westspeed Platinum earnings.

Meanwhile, the Pearce yard’s good form continued with Play With Desire and Budgerigar also winning their respective races at Geraldton to give the stable three winners on the day.

Playing God gelding Play With Desire defied a late betting drift ($5.50 to $8.50) to take out the Racing Here Sunday December 17th Handicap (1925m) with Tash Faithfull aboard.

The four-year-old jumped only steadily before working forward to position up outside the leader and he was passed by race-favourite Westozi ($1.75) midway down the straight, however, he was able to pick himself off the canvas to snatch back the victory by a neck on the line.

The duo put a gap on the rest of the field, with Vanman ($19) more than three lengths further back in third place.

The win was Play With Desire’s second from his past three starts and boosts his career earnings to $46,205 including bonuses.

Budgerigar was also able to continue his top form when justifying his $2.60 favouritism in the Country Comfort Perth Handicap (1413m).

Ridden by Chris Nicoll, the Epaulette four-year-old settled leaders-back in the run before working into the clear on straightening and finishing off strongly to defeat Be Seated ($5.50) by a length, with Albert ($4.60) a further nose away in third.

The victory was the third of Budgerigar’s campaign and takes his career record to 11 starts for four wins, four minor placings and $71,977 in total earnings.

Pearce Racing will be represented by Let’s Galahvant in next Saturday’s $1.5 million Damien Oliver Gold Rush (1400m) at Ascot.

to watch the replay of Black Fantasy’s Ascot win.
CLICK HERE to view the results and replay of Play With Desire’s Geraldton win.
CLICK HERE to view the results and replay of Budgerigar’s Geraldton win.

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