Brilliant filly Quilista proved herself to be one of WA’s best three-year-olds when dominating yesterday’s listed $100,000 Rangeview Stud Classic (Race 7-1400m) at Bunbury.
The heavily-backed $1.60 favourite began well and sat on top of a strong early tempo, before champion jockey William Pike encouraged her to surge to the front on straightening.
It appeared as though WA Guineas winner Variation ($3.70) was going to make a real race of it when looming large 250 metres from home, however, with superior race-fitness and a 6kg pull in the weights, the Justin Warwick-trained daughter of Scandal Keeper comfortably fended off the challenge and worked clear to post a two-length victory.
It was a performance of high-quality sustained speed with Quilista’s clocking 1:22.84, which would have seen her win the APH Contractors-Bunbury Stakes by approximately five lengths. The outstanding overall time is a new race record, well and truly eclipsing Summer Swallow’s 1:23.78 in 2011.
It was also ‘The Wizard’ Pike’s fourth win in the seven-year history of the event, having saluted aboard Takanori (2013), Stagnite (2014) and Showy Chloe (2016) previously.
A former $10,000 yearling purchase, Quilista is unbeaten in four starts this preparation and has taken her overall record to four wins and two placings from seven starts, and total earnings in excess of $155,000.
The victory also continued a sizzling hot streak for the Warwick stable, who endured an unusually quiet period between late October and mid January, but have hit back hard recently thanks to the deeds of Quilista, Bunbury’s recent Prince Of Wales Hotel Cup winner Material Man and tough-as-nails competitor Infathuated.
Emerging stayer Material Man is one of the rising stars of WA racing and looks set to start a short-priced favourite in Thursday’s listed $120,000 XXXX Gold-Bunbury Cup (2200m).