After having to settle for second in the Australian Guineas at Flemington with Superstorm, the same West Australian connections are hoping to go one better in the Australian Cup with Regal Power.
Superstorm made his eastern states debut in Saturday’s Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) for three-year-olds, closing fast to finish 1-1/4-lengths behind Queensland star Alligator Blood.
“I’ve never been so happy to run second in my life,” jockey William Pike said.
“He was good. The winner is just like the ultimate package though, he puts himself up on the speed out of trouble and is obviously a good horse.
“But we were very good in defeat.”
Perth’s champion jockey, Pike is still chasing his first Melbourne Group One win and hopes to achieve it with Superstorm’s Grant and Alana Williams-trained stablemate Regal Power in Saturday’s Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington.
Regal Power won the Group One Railway Stakes (1600m) in Perth in November and in his Melbourne debut on February 22 hit the line strongly in the Group Two Peter Young Stakes (1800m) for a close fourth behind fellow Cup hopefuls Miss Siska, Kings Will Dream and Mirage Dancer.
“His run was great,” Pike said.
“I don’t want to sound like a broken record with the track but it was hard to make ground on the day and he ran good sectionals.”
Pike has a good opinion of Regal Power and said he was looking forward to the Australian Cup, believing the four-year-old has what it takes to figure.
“Until we actually get the win on the board though, it doesn’t mean much, but I really do think he’s up to them,” he said.
“I know it’s only another 200 metres but I think he’ll like that as well.”
Regal Power, who is raced by prominent owner/breeders Bob and Sandra Peters, was the $6 second favourite on Sunday behind Turnbull Stakes winner Kings Will Dream ($5).
Grant Williams said Regal Power had come through the Peter Young well.
“Hopefully we can get a soft draw and we don’t have to give them a start like we did the other day,” Williams said.
Peter Young winner Miss Siska chases her first Group One win and was at $9 on Sunday, the same quote as dual winner Harlem and Vow And Declare.
The winner of the Melbourne Cup, Vow And Declare will be having his first start since his famous victory in Saturday’s weight-for-age feature.
“He’s in great order,” trainer Danny O’Brien said.