Trainer Stan Bates heaped praise on top jockey William Pike for giving him a second straight victory in the $80,000 Beaufine Stakes (1000m) when Megem’s Boy scored an upset win in the feature at Belmont Park.
Megem’s Boy, rated a $16 chance, appreciated a hot speed set in front to storm home from midfield and gun down Latoria ($4.80) by 3/4 of a length with Hadabeclorka ($41) third.
Right Time, the $2.80 favourite, trailed the leader Noname City but was no match for the first three across the line when finishing fourth.
Second elect Werd ($3.80) sat behind the speed and struggled for clear running for most of the straight when fifth.
The Beaufine Stakes win was Megem’s Boy’s ninth over 1000m and was another boost to Pike’s impressive record on the consistent six-year-old.
The star hoop, who notched a second straight city jockey’s premiership today, has won three of his seven rides on Megem’s Boy and only finished outside the first three once.
Bates won last year’s Beaufine with quality mare All Friared Up and was genuinely surprised when Megem’s Boy won.
“You could knock me over with a feather in all honesty but I say that every time he wins a race,” Bates said.
“He’s just done a wonderful job this horse.
“As soon as Pike gets on he’s a different horse. He just has him that little bit closer.
“We stepped his work up since his last run and it’s obviously made a lot of difference.
“It wasn’t that long ago I was pleading with the handicapper to drop him back to a midweek race.”
Settle Strada capped his three-year-old season with a fourth consecutive victory when leading all the way in the Schweppes Handicap (1200m).
Apprentice Renee Forrest bounced the hot $2.30 favourite straight to the lead and he skipped clear in the straight to defeat Delta Bay ($26) by 2 1/4 lengths with Marmaa ($61) third.
“He won pretty softly in the end,” trainer David Harrison said.
“I was a bit worried about him coming in because he showed signs of training off and did a few things differently.“He’ll go for a let-up now and we might look at a race like the Chaff City (Pinjarra Classic) and Bunbury Stakes where he’d be on the minimum.”
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