New Zealand-bred Tricky Styx grabbed nominal favouritism for a series of Perth juvenile races when she brilliantly scored an upset win in tonight's $50,000 Slater-Gartrell Champagne Classic (2130m) at Gloucester Park.
Tricky Styx, starting at $27.60, won by 9.5m from The Odd Lover ($5.50) and hot favourite Persistent Threat ($1.50) finished a further 10.5m back in third place.
The Jesse Moore-trained Tricky Styx will be aimed at two-year-old events culminating in the $125,000 Golden Slipper Pace (2130m) at Gloucester Park during July.
"I bought the filly in New Zealand," the Northam-based Moore said. "We've had to iron out a lot of problems with Tricky Styx, but she's now showing her true ability."
Tricky Styx won at Bunbury and Pinjarra before ruining her prospects by breaking gait at Gloucester Park on March 21.
Bunbury reinsman Aiden De Campo settled her last in a 10-horse field tonight, then took her wide from ninth at the bell.
She moved to third at the 300m and was hot in pursuit of joint leaders Persistent Threat and The Odd Lover.
Tricky Styx swept clear on the home turn and gave Moore his fourth Champagne Classic win. She rated 1:58.2 and went close to a 1:58.1 race record set by Sportsmans Dream in 1992.
"All credit to Jesse for overcoming Tricky Styx's problems," De Campo said. "She has the fastest sprint of any two-year-old I've driven.
"I'm happy to maintain a family tradition by winning this race."
De Campo's late grandfather Ray trained two Champagne Classic winners.
Aiden's father Andrew and has driven four Champagne Classic winners and trained two.
The Mike Reed-trained Libertybelle Midfrew consolidated a firm grip on favouritism for next Friday's $150,000 Gannons WA Oaks (2536m) when she recorded a dominant win tonight.
Starting a hot favourite in the WA Oaks Prelude (2130m), powerful bay Libertybelle Midfrew ($1.20) scored by 15.5m from Dontdoubtme ($15.30). A nose away in third place was Maddy White ($20.90).
Libertybelle Midfrew had raced outside leader Jungle Jewel before sprinting to the front about 500m from the finish.
"She's all class and keeps getting better," reinsman Shannon Suvaljko said.
He smiled a lot. He kicked goals. He could occasionally also get himself into trouble.