Progressive Kalgoorlie galloper Baalbek can keep winning in town even though he’s been up awhile for Goldfields trainer Peter Fernie.
Baalbek had claimed a 3yo Northam maiden second time out in October 2022 before transferring out of Simon Miller’s stable in August. He was a front-running winner in Kal earlier this month and paraded like he was up to the task in the Mumm Champagne Hcp (1200m) at Ascot last Wednesday.
“He had been working really well since that dominant win and he’s a happy horse,” Fernie said. “I went in confident but then he had to work hard from a wide gate. To his credit, he fought them off in the straight for a pretty impressive win. Hopefully, he can keep it going.”
Baalbek kept kicking for apprentice Luke Campbell to score by a half-length from Budgerigar (Epaulette). This is only his second campaign and he was the pick of the yard prior to a sixth start this prep.
Fernie and Campbell were coming off an Ascot victory on Lee-Steere Stakes Day with Playthatfunkymusic (Vert De Grece) and the leading apprentice rates their latest winner very highly.
“I knew he had the speed to get across and then we got cover behind ‘Lucky’ (Ramoly) on the leader. He was travelling so I popped off the fence at the 600m. He hit a flat spot when we straightened but he really found and was it was tough performance.”
Baalbek races for Westbury Park’s Phil Ibbotson, who stands his sire My Admiration, and Peter Jones. He’s a full-brother to Cryptic Love (LR Sheila Gwynne Classic & LR Pinjarra Classic) and Cryptic Wonder (RL Magic Millions WA 3YO Trophy). Their dam Abitcryptic has an unraced 3yo named Cryptic Joy (Oratorio) with Simon Miller and a yearling filly by Playing God.
Westbury Park’s new recruit A Lot (USA) was also on the mark last week with Cocktail Party in the Hairitage Hair Hcp (1300m) at York. Part-owned and trained by Luke Fernie, he had won a Northam maiden in September for Kim Doak and his partner Maria Manfredini plus long-time stable client Peter Fleay.
His dam Hallowell Lane (Lonhro) is an unraced half-sister to LR Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic winner Lusaha (More Than Ready) and she was purchased by Victorian-based Rob Dunnett (Equine Ventures) for $3,250 at the 2020 Mungrup Stud Dispersal. The mare was carrying Cocktail Party and had already foaled winners by Oratorio (Halatorion) and Playing God (Heavenly Miss).
A Lot (Tapit) is standing for $9,350 at Westbury Park and My Admiration (Encosta de Lago) is priced at $4,400. Both fees (inc GST).