Roy Rogers is confident Dark Assault can make an impact in the WAROA-Belmont Guineas (1600m) and cannot be underestimated.
Dark Assault is priced as an $11 chance, with the bulk of pre-race attention focused on Colin Webster’s in-form gelding Billy Ain’t Silly.
The son of I’m All The Talk has won four races this campaign and ran second to Graceful Girl in the Raconteur Stakes (1400m) two weeks ago. Drawn barrier eight in a field of 12 starters for Laqdar Ramoly, Billy Ain’t Silly opened $2.80 with Tabtouch and now has been backed into $2.05
But Rogers says Dark Assault has more to offer and insists the Statue Of Liberty gelding won’t be playing a supporting role in the Belmont Guineas.
Rogers took heart from Dark Assault’s win two races back when he flooded home to claim the Sky Racing Provincial Championship Series Final (1400m).
Rogers advises punters to go on that run and ignore Dark Assault’s last-start effort when he ran sixth and three lengths astern of Comfort Me.
“His last run rule a line through it as he got fired up early in traffic and went to the inside, which was probably unsuitable on the day,” Rogers told The Races WA. “He should have gone to the outside, but he has pulled up really well and had excuses.
“He only has to reproduce his run from two starts back and I think he is right in it.
“This is his final run this campaign and hopefully he can bow out on a winning note.
“I have no doubts he will run out a strong mile. He got home really well over the 1400m and ran second over 1500m.
“There’s plenty of speed in the race and he should float back and have the last crack at them.
“Hopefully Willie [Pike] can weave a bit of magic. I think he can do it, he’s going well.”
Dark Assault will jump from barrier 11, and Rogers is delighted to get the services of champion jockey William Pike again.
Pike holds an outstanding record in the Belmont Guineas and shares top billing with Paul Harvey after four previous wins.
Pike first won on The Underworld (2011), and followed up with Tick Tick Bloom (2014), State Prosecutor (2018) and Mystery Miss (2019).
Meanwhile, it was Pike’s post-race assessment of Captain Sharmane that’s given Rogers a boost ahead of the Morley Growers Market Handicap (1200m).
Pike had Captain Sharmane settled last before the Magnus filly worked home strongly for third place behind Brooklyn Pier over 1000m two weeks ago.
“It was a terrific run, and Willie was really excited by the horse and said he really liked her,” Rogers said.
“Had she drawn an inside gate he said she could possibly have won it, if not, definitely second.
“She got a bit far out of her ground and rattled home in 33 [sec], so it was a good run.”
Lucy Warwick reclaims the ride aboard Captain Sharmane, who begins from barrier two. She is $17 in current TAB markets.