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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Highly-promising filly Royal Essence staked a strong claim to gain a start in the $125,000 Westral Mares Classic next Friday night when she scored an impressive victory in the $22,000 Giuseppe Raco Memorial Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The New Zealand-bred three-year-old, the $2.30 favourite, gave a splendid frontrunning display for brilliant young driver Emily Suvaljko to win by just under a length from five-year-old Leap Of Faith, who finished solidly from fourth at the bell. Royal Essence sped over the final 400m in 28.3sec. and rated 1.57.4 over the 2130m journey.

“You would think she will get a start in the big race next week,” said trainer Nathan Turvey, who will also be represented by the talented Savvy Bromac.

“Royal Essence has got good form, with her past ten starts producing six wins ands four placings. She is very tough, and I don’t think it will hurt her, racing against older mares.”

Royal Essence is by the American stallion Hes Watching and is the third foal out of the unraced mare Bettor Impression. She raced three times in New Zealand for one third placing.

Turvey liked the way she raced and was able to purchase her for $30,000, and the filly has earned $67,478 from her eight wins and ten placings from 24 starts in WA for Turvey and co-owners Ron Sciani, Peter Ensel, Tracey Hart, Madi Coles and Ron and Kylie McLennan (greyhound trainers who are enjoying their first venture in harness racing).

Royal Essence is flourishing late in the season after showing good promise earlier in the year with her fourth behind Rumour Has It in the Daintys Daughter Classic and her sixth behind Benesari Lane in the group 1 WA Oaks.

Gnangara trainer Luke Edwards was delighted with Leap of Faith’s encouraging second to Royal Essence and is hoping that she will gain a start in the Mares Classic. She won the group 2 2902m Easter Cup last April when she beat Lawrence and Glenledi Chief a month after finishing third behind Babyface Adda in the group 3 Northam Cup.