The decision of Chris Voak, last season’s leading driver in Western Australia, to opt out of an early speed battle in the 1730m TABtouch.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Saturday night paid handsome dividends when $5.10 chance Taking The Miki romped home to score an easy victory.
Eagle Royalty, the $2 favourite, was the fastest into stride from the outside barrier in the field of five, but she was unable to wrest the early lead from the polemarker, the $3.10 second fancy Torrevean Amy.
Torrevean Amy, driven by Mark Reed, resisted Eagle Royalty’s strong challenge for the lead during the first lap before Chris Lewis sent Eagle Royalty to the front with 900m to travel, with Taking The Miki eight lengths behind the leading pair.
The early battle, when the first quarters whizzed by in 28.2sec. and 28.7sec., took its toll and the leaders began to wilt in the back straight. Taking The Miki made up ground steadily and Voak dashed her into the lead 250m from home and she went on to win by two lengths from the plucky Eagle Royalty, with Torrevean Amy a length back in third place. The final quarters were run in 30.6sec. and 29.8sec. and the winner rated 1.56.7.
The win completed a training double for Ross Olivieri, who was successful earlier in the program with Quick Stride. Taking The Miki, a $26,000 purchase at the 2020 APG Perth yearling sale, now has won at two of her three starts for earnings of $15,799.
She is by star American pacer Always B Miki, who was retired to stud after his five-year-old campaign in 2016 when he won the Dan Patch Hall of the Year award. He raced 53 times for 30 wins, 13 seconds and three thirds for stakes of $2.8 million.
By Ken Casellas