Highly promising two-year-old Django underlined his Karrakatta Plate credentials with a brilliant win in today's Westspeed Plate (1000m) at Ascot.
Jockey Paul Harvey sat shotgun on the pacemaker Out Pie 'O' My into the home stretch before he was urged to the front inside the last 100m to pull away a comfortable 1 1/4 length win and record his second win from his two starts.
The Joe Bryne-trained son of Trade Fair was backed from $3.20 into $3 second favouritism before giving his backers a armchair victory.
Punters had plunged the Ted Martinovich-trained youngster Jezpark from $3.20 into $2.40 favouritism but the colt lost his chance to sneak second place when he became unbalanced on the home corner. Vitalism ($13) who was having her first start since last October's Initial Plate at
Belmont Park rattled home from last to claim the minor end of the quinella.
With the $500,000 Group 2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m) looming at the end of March, Django has firmed as one of the major chances to carry off WA's premier juvenile race.
"I knew he would improve on his last start when he raced a bit greenly," Byrne said. "I think he got a bit of stage fright because he wasn't doing any of those things in his track work.
"He has a beautiful stride on him but he hasn't learnt how to hot top gear as yet.
"The Karrakatta is in mind for him but I will look at him each day and see how he is going along.
"I''m really looking forward to this horse coming back next preparation.
"I think there is a lot of depth in him."
WA's premier jockey William Pike pulled the rabbit out of the hat to give three-year-old Stagnite
successive wins in the Wesyspeed Handicap (1200m).
Pike who is riding in splendid form, looked boxed up behind the leaders but charged Stagnite through a needle hole opening to stop Mireille's winning run, scoring by a long-neck on the
Stagnite had impressively won his maiden over 1000m at Bunbury at his first start on February 13.
Trainer Sharon Miller is keen to head back to Bunbury to chase the $100,000 WA Breeders' Classic (1400m), on March 9, with the son of Danehill Express.
Ben Kennedy not to be outdone by Pike gave a magnificent display of his riding skills to stretch the unbeaten streak of the gifted Bachelors Prospect in the Westspeed Handicap (1400m).
Backed into a $1.90 favourite the Kiwi-bred three-year-old carried the weights of the majority of punters, but looked in serious trouble when he was clustered up in the field, before Kennedy was able to thread through and claim Kai's Diamond ($5) by a short-head on the line.
Top apprentice Jerry Noske gave a great front riding display to land a big plunge ($17 into $10) on War Prince in the Skyy Vodka Handicap (1000m).
Noske dashed War Prince to the lead from his wide gate in 10, before giving the gelding a slight
breather on the corner and kicking away at the top of the stretch.
She then held the gelding together over the final 150m to hold out stable-mate Vengabus ($4.80), winning by 1 3/4 lengths.
It was the second leg of a double for the 2kg claiming apprentice after earlier having dashed home pony-sized mare Jim 'N' Jim from last to win the LD Total Handicap (2200m). The hot $2.25 favourite First Flight pulled and fought his rider Paul Harvey in what was a dawdling affair and finished fifth.
While Ye Olde notched his third win from his past four starts for co-trainers Lou and Dion Luciani in the Tabrouch Handicap (1400m).
Outsider Black Magic Miss ($26) made the $4.20 second favourite earn first prize in what was a major tussle for supremacy, but Ye Olde prevailed in the dog-fight to win by a long-head.