Things do not always go to plan in big races and when they don’t the lesser horses are left behind. It is the good horses, the really good ones, who shine through no matter what.
Such as Real Love whose dominant victory in last Thursday’s G2 Perth Cup was one of the most exciting staying performances of the season.
A horse who has come from behind, midfield and close to the pace at previous outings over a variety of distances, the Desert King mare found herself making the pace in the Perth Cup – and that was definitely not the plan!
And her jockey William Pike, who had steered her to victories in the Gr.3 Queen’s Cup and the Listed St Leger, admitted that he spent the first half of the race concerned – “I was dreading what I was going to have to say when I came back in!” he told Perth Racing.
“Luckily,” he continued, “she is a good horse and she got me out of trouble – and I love her to bits for it!”
Strongly challenged by Kirov Boy well before the turn, Real Love quickly shook off that galloper who is known for his toughness and ability having led throughout to win his previous contest by 7¾ lengths.
“I thought Kirov Boy was going to go past us,” Pike said, “but she kicked and was very strong.”
Travelling sweetly into the straight, Real Love got clear straightening and was never going to lose – coasting to the line to win by a soft one and a half lengths.
The fifth Perth Cup winner for highly successful owner/breeders Bob and Sandra Peters, Real Love will now enjoy a well earned spell in preparation for interstate carnivals.
“She is a young stayer showing exceptional things,” trainer Adam Durrant said – “there is no reason why she couldn’t be competitive in the right race over east.”
And LP Stallion’s Julie Nairn is one person who can’t wait to see Real Love in action… “she is a terrific mare, so bold, tough and talented – so typical of the Desert King breed.”
“We have always had faith that Desert King would sire another topliner and this mare is a star in the making.”
Desert King’s good form continued at Cranbourne last Friday with debutant Easter Rising recording an exciting victory.
Settling back and needing luck coming to the turn, the Colin & Cindy Alderson trained four-year-old was held up for runs most of the way down the straight – showing great heart to take a late split when it came.
Whilst connections have always had a good opinion of Easter Rising, they were surprised that he was so strong at debut with stable representative Adrian McGregor telling TVN that “he has shown us a bit but we thought he’d be better suited over much further.”
“We thought he’d probably need tonight but that is a great way to start his career.”
Jockey Mark Zahra was impressed with the way Easter Rising found the line and is confident that the best is still to come – “he will improve a lot,” he said.
For further information on Desert King contact Julie Nairn (0402 901 910) or Chris Bakker (0427 903 353).