Dark Assault lands victory in the $100,000 Skyracing.TV Provincial Championship Series Final for Roy Rogers
Dark Assault produced a wonderful finish to give Albany trainer Roy Rogers more success this season, this time in the $100,000 Skyracing.TV Provincial Championship Series Final (1400m) at Belmont Park on Saturday.
The promising three-year-old stormed down the centre of the track in the home straight to claim a thrilling victory by three-quarters of a length over Crystal Dane.
Ridden by champion jockey William Pike, Dark Assault ($5.90) came from 11th on the home turn to reel in the Sharon Miller-trained duo Crystal Dane ($52.50) and $2.70 race favourite Tiff Has Spoken in the final 50m.
“We were happy with the rain around, it helped the horse and the track played in our favour,” Rogers said.
“Willie rode him a treat. He said he wanted to get to the out-side.
“I did think he would be able to charge home from so far back.
“I was quietly confident, the horse had been set for the race and it’s amazing to be able to win this race for the first time.”
Dark Assault is likely to progress to a 66+ ratings race at Belmont next start.
“Absolutely the dividends are starting to pay off with this horse,” Rogers said.
“I have always had a lot of time for him and we knocked back a few big offers early on and we showed our faith in the horse.
“I think he will be a better four or five-year old.”
Fellow local runner Loki finished last while Long Knife Brother was declared a non-runner and Kendel’s Mee Dad was a late scratching.
Albany trainer Steve Wolfe had an impressive winner at the first meeting of the winter season.
Wolfe had three runners on the program and returned with a win and two thirds, all at big prices.
The Spruiker finished strongly in the Amelia Park Handicap (1300m) for Shaun McGruddy after settling fifth in the run, to win by half a length at juicy odds of $33.
Apollo and Sowar ran third in their respective races while debutant Acefire ran third in race two for Rogers.
Meanwhile, Albany hoop Natasha Faithfull rode a winning treble on the six-race program at Carnarvon on Saturday.
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