Underrated gelding Chix Pic launched his spring campaign in style with an impressive win in the $100,000 TABtouch 3YO Classic (1000m) at Bunbury today.
Sent out an $18 chance despite winning two of his three starts, Chix Pic settled second and proved too slick for his rivals in the straight to score by a length.
Black Sabbath, the $2.30 favourite, ran on strongly from fifth on the turn to run second in the first defeat of his career.
Lady Cosmology ($2.50) was third ahead of stablemate Valour Road ($6.50).
Trainer David Harrison said Chix Pic would continue his path to the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) when he tackles the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on October 27.
“I’ll probably have to pull the blinkers off for him to get the mile,” Harrison said.
“He’ll head that way in the three-year-old races and if we need to take the blinkers off, we will.
“He’s a very relaxed horse.
“We always wondered if he’d be up to this company when he came back.
“He hadn’t picked up as much as we hoped he would, but it was a really strong win.”
Chix Pic, a son of in-form sire Patronize, is raced by a big syndicate of female owners.
“We bred him and we got to our naming day and everyone liked the horse,” Harrison said.
“Jen (Harrison’s wife) said ‘we’re not selling him’, but next thing you know she’s sold nearly all of it.”
Chix Pic gave jockey Joseph Azzopardi back-to-back wins in the classic after he won on Ocean Jewel last year.
“He’s just a racehorse – he turns up on raceday and gets the job done,” Azzopardi said of Chix Pic.
“I think he’s got a lot of scope. He makes my job easy.”
Chix Pic’s only defeat from four starts was in the Group 2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m) in April, when he ran fifth and pulled up shin sore.
Meanwhile, Achernar Star started his Ascot carnival campaign with a bang when he won the In Memory Of Brendan Ballantyne Handicap (1400m).
Ridden by Shaun McGruddy, Achernar Star ($7.50) beat the fast-finishing Action ($6) by a short neck. Great Again’s ($3.70 favourite) winning sequence ended at five when he ran third.
“He’ll head to the Northam Cup,” trainer Simon Miller said.
“He’s on a Railway and Kingston Town path.”
The Listed Northam Cup (1600m) is on October 28, the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) is at Ascot on November 24 and the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) is on December 8.
Jockey Daniel Staeck booted home his first winner since returning from a stint in Victoria when Salon Du Cheval stormed home to win the Rod Bynder 10 Year Memorial Handicap (1675m).