Deep Field gelding takes out the G2 Karrakatta Plate

7 min read

Co-trainers Daniel and Ben Pearce were rewarded for the extra work on $19 chance Dig Deep (Deep Field) with the gelding storming home to post a narrow win in the $500,000 Amelia Park Karrakatta Plate.

Jockey Jarrad Noske took advantage of his inside draw in two to have Dig Deep coasting in fifth place a horse from the rail behind the leader Amelia’s On Fire (Sizzling) into the top of the straight.

Noske then hooked Dig Deep into the clear, charging home with $81 chance Tinsnip (Snippetson) in hot pursuit to ruin the party for first season West Australian sire Safeguard, whose daughter Miss West Coast ($12), fleeting looked to have the race, when hitting the front inside the last 50m.

Miss West Coast fought bravely to hold third placing ¾ of a length away, with Amelia’s On Fire staying on to keep fourth place, ahead of Specialism (Safeguard), who was running home hard on the rail.

The Karrakatta win was the Pearce brothers’ biggest win of their careers. They had trained separately before forging as partnership in August 2017.

The Pearce brothers made a 50-minute road trip from their Karnup stables to bring Dig Deep to Ascot to work him on the course proper last Saturday to familiarize him with the track, after his Ascot debut fourth to Beethoven in the Perth Stakes (1100m) on March 23.

“We galloped him on the course on the Saturday, which is something we don’t do to give him that bit more experience on the track, after he was a bit wayward at his previous start,” Daniel Pearce said.

“He galloped really good and we took him through the barrier gates at Lark Hill on Wednesday. It has all worked out really good.”

The Pearce brothers paid $100,000 for Dig Deep as a yearling at the 2018 Perth Magic Millions Yearling sale. The then colt was bred at the Gingin-based nursery of Gold Front owner-breeders Alan and Sue Olive.

Dig Deep as a yearling

“We select yearlings each year and then syndicate them,” Ben Pearce said. "We currently have shares available in yearlings we purchased this year.

“We have concentrated on trying to buy the better stock up and around the $100,000 mark. You just have a better chance of getting a nice horse at that price and it has been proven with this horse. We have good quality yearlings by So You Think, All Too Hard and Blackfriars that we purchased this year.

“I had heard some good reports on his sire Deep Field and he (Dig Deep) was a big strong and powerful colt. He has a very good family behind him too.

“Originally we planned on keeping him as a colt, but he became quite naughty. He was getting pretty heavy as well so we gelded him after his first trial, when we were disappointed by his performance. We then spelled him and he has come back super.”

Pearce said Dig Deep would head into the Group 3 $200,000 WA Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) run at Ascot on Good Friday.

“Going back to his previous run he did a few things wrong and he hit the line hard,” Pearce said. "We were pretty confident that with him stepping up to the 1200m of the Karrakatta he would see it out. Now stepping up to the 1400m is his next challenge.”

Among the syndicate owners is Perth Racing vice-chair Paula Sullivan, who also was a part-owner in the recently retired Group winning mare Dainty Tess.

Pearce’s father Colin, who also trained, is another owner. For Noske, who rode Camporella to run third behind Ms Funovits in the 2013 Karrakatta, it was his first win in WA”s premier two-year-old event.

“Luckily he drew a gate and he has come right at the right time,” Noske said.

“The way he was travelling through-out I was qite confident a long way from home that he had the race.”

Newgate Farm stallion Deep Field’s first stakes winner was Cosmic Force, who exploded away to a seven-length in win the Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes at Rosehill last month. Dig Deep is his second stakes-winner.

Dig Deep’s dam Lucky Ana’s (Lucky Unicorn) half sister Estelle Collection (Stravinsky) is the dam of champion sprinter Lankan Rupee (Redoute’s Choice).

With a neck splitting the first two place-getters Tinspin’s rider Peter Knuckey requested to look at the stewards’ patrol film over the last 100m, but took no action. Leading trainer Adam Durrant received a fillip after a black week, when Electric Light (Vital Equine {IRE}) caused a boil-over win in the Listed Marjorie Charleson Classic.

Durrant’s top filly Asserto died in a horror fall at the 250m in last Saturday’s Group 2 WA Oaks (2400m) at Ascot. Rider Mitchell Pateman sustained a fracture to his T 12 vertebrae and could be out of the saddle for up to six months.

Pateman has battled weight issues to rebuild his career over the past two years to be second to perennial leader William Pike on 29 metropolitan wins.

The $12 chance Electric Light was having her second start back from a spell when she finished powerfully down the outside to pip Lady Cosmology (Universal Ruler) by a nose on the post in the 1200m fillies and mares feature.

It was the four-year-old’s eighth win from her 11 career starts.

Durrant revealed that Electric Light, owned by dual Perth Cup (Ullyatt {1986} and Ros Reef {1995}) winning owner Andy Phelan, has faced many setbacks.

“She’s got a ripper record and after her run first up I knew I had her on the mark,” Durrant said.

“She was going to win quite comfortably at the 200m, but she just bottomed out that bit.“She has gone from a maiden last preparation to winning a Listed race here.

“It is a great result for Andy, who is overseas at the moment. She had a fracture early in the pelvis area or somewhere, but they couldn’t pinpoint where it was exactly.

“That came good, but then she was broken-winded and she would make a terrible rattle, when she worked. She still does, but she just keeps turning up. There is nothing pretty about her but she is a real little tradesman. She will come back in a fortnight in the Sheila Gwynne Classic.

“But I would really like to have a go at the fillies and mares features over the summer. She will go over a mile for sure."

Dig Deep

Punters were left shocked when favourite Fabergino (Maschino) faded to finish last in fifth position after leading for most of the journey. It was the first time the powerful four-year-old mare finished outside the first three placings at her seven starts.

Electric Light has an “electric” pedigree being a daughter of the Trade Fair mare Candle Smoke.

Her family boasts the outstanding Western Australian sprinters such as Railway Stakes winner Machine Gun Tom, La Sirenuse, Hot Shot Brother, Cool Business, Hartley’s Dream and Shining Knight.

Mizlecki (Lope de Vega) unlined her bright future with a tear-away 4 ¼ length win in the Listed Old Comrade Stakes (1600m). There was drama before the start of the Old Comrade, when the hot $2 favourite Tellem We’re Comin was scratched after dropping jockey William Pike, when exiting the parade ring onto the course proper.

The four-year-old struck the rubber wheel on top of the gate and galloped free before being recaptured. All prices were reduced on the place-getters because of the scratching.

Trainer Fred Kersley and his wife Judith leased Mizlecki from breeder Ron Sayers’s Yarradale Stud, after she was passed at $28,000 at the 2016 MM Perth Yearing Sale.

The four-year-old mare awarded jockey Daniel Staeck a hat-trick of wins on the card. Staeck kicked off his three winners for Kersley’s daughter Karen with a brilliant 2 ¼ length win on Catherine Wheel in the Rivercrestpark Handicap (1200m).

His middle leg was posted on High Energy in the Amelia Park Lamb Handicap (2200m).