Peters dominance continued in WATC Derby

5 min read

By Jay Rooney

WA’s leading breeders Bob and Sandra Peters continued their dominance of the Group 2 WATC Derby when Regal Power claimed a thrilling victory in the classic at Ascot on Saturday.

Settling second last in a strung-out field, Regal Power (Pierro) charged home down the outside to nail a brave Cockney Crew (Maschino) on the finishing post by a short head.

Ping Me Another (Musket) was another short head away in third.

Regal Power emulated the deeds of his full brother Action, who won the WATC Derby 12 months ago.

A history of victories

The Peters’ won their ninth derby in WA. They won the WATC Australian Derby with Natasha (1990) and the WATC Derby with Old Money (2000), Dreamaway (2011), Mystic Prince (2013), Respondent (2014), Delicacy (2015), Arcadia Dream (2016) and Action.

“That was probably the hardest one,” Peters said.

“I thought he would (run down Cockney Crew), but then I started to calculate how many extra lengths he covered.

“I did ask him (Pike) to stay in the clear. He’s been very unlucky in a lot of his earlier races. I think this fellow is a bit better than Action.”

Regal Power, who also won the Listed Melvista Stakes at Ascot last month, is one of 16 stakes winners for Coolmore stallion Pierro.

The Peters’ bred Regal Power from their three-time stakes-winning mare, Broadway Belle (Redoute’s Choice).

Bob and Sandra Peters

The derby victory capped a big week for the Peters family after they sold a Vancouver filly out of their WATC Derby winner, Arcadia Dream, for $950,000 at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale on Wednesday.

Their Vancouver colt out of Broadway Belle was passed in after falling short of its $500,000 reserve.

Bob Peters hailed this season as his best ever. He added the derby win to major victories including the Group 1 Railway Stakes, Group 1 Kingston Town Classic, Group 2 Perth Cup, Group 2 WA Guineas, Group 3 WA Oaks and Group 3 WA Champion Fillies Stakes.

New record for Pike

Champion jockey William Pike eclipsed Frank ‘Tiger’ Moore’s WATC Derby record with his eighth win.

He won on Cats Fun (2006), Grand Journey (2008) and the Peters’ Dreamaway, Respondent, Delicacy, Arcadia Dream and Action.

“I think his win had much more merit than Action’s last year." - Jockey William Pike

“I was actually concerned at the 1200,” Pike said.

“I could see where Hally (Peter Hall) was (on Cockney Crew) and I thought ‘oh dear, this is going to be interesting’.

“I really just didn’t get that cart-up I was desperate for. He felt very good but he needed to be from where I was.

“I think his win had much more merit than Action’s last year. Action ran second in the Perth Cup and hopefully this bloke can win the Perth Cup.”

It was also a record-breaking win for Grant Williams, who trains Regal Power in partnership with his wife Alana.

He eclipsed JJ Kelly’s training record with his seventh WATC Derby victory. His other winners were Dreamaway, Mystic Prince, Respondent, Delicacy, Arcadia Dream and Action.

Regal Power

Cockney Crew went agonisingly close to giving WA sire Maschino a stakes double at Ascot after promising three-year-old Cup Night won the Listed Raconteur Stakes.

Ridden by Patrick Carbery, Cup Night ran on from fourth to surge to the lead at the top of the straight and held on late to score by a long head.

Rebel Knight (Universal Ruler) charged home for second and Shuwish (Ouqba) was third.

Cup Night is the first stakes-winner by Maschino, a Group 3-winning son of Encosta De Lago who stands at Alwyn Park Stud.

He has risen in popularity with WA breeders in the past two seasons after only covering a handful of mares early in his stud career.

Trainer Bernie Miller bred Cup Night from his mare Walk In Beauty (Barely A Moment).

“We bought her from the eastern states as a weanling,” Miller said. “Pat said she was above average but she did two tendons. We got her back after 22 months, she won her first two races and then she did another tendon.

Cup Night

“She’s got a colt by Vital Equine so we’ve got a lot to look forward to. We believe this horse (Cup Night) has got an enormous amount of ability.

“I want to be here in the spring. Today was the test that told us we’re going the right way.”

Cup Night, who is raced by the Miller and Carbery families, scored his third straight win to improve his record to five wins from 13 starts.

Earlier on Saturday, trainer Vernon Brockman unearthed a smart two-year-old when High Range (Galah) won the Cool Ridge Plate on debut. High Range led all the way for jockey Ryan Hill to beat Pretty Style (Oratorio) by three-quarters of a length.

“He is quite smart,” Brockman said.

“I’m hoping he’s going to be a good three-year-old in better races. He’s got the ability.”

Brockman paid $40,000 for High Range at the 2018 Magic Millions Perth yearling sale.

His sire Galah is a Group 2-winning son of the late Redoute’s Choice and stands at Rangeview Stud in WA.