Blackfriars 3yo Khawaja remains on track for the G2 WA Derby after running down tearaway Trap For Fools at Ascot on Wednesday.
The Sharon Miller-trained gelding looked a real staying find when reeling in the leader who had the best part of a 10-length advantage at the furlong. He won the Perth Racing Membership (1800m) running away by a length from Blackfriars filly Latakia Friars.
“He’s got so much ability but is still growing up,” Miller said. “There were excuses last time. He was fired up in the yard and pig-rooted on the way to the barrier. It was a hot day and he came back with an elevated heart-rate.
“He appreciated the speed in front and we will back him up in a restricted race over 2100m here on St Patrick’s Day.”
Khawaja will then run in the LR Melvista Stakes (2200m) on March 25 and G2 WA Derby (2400m) on April 8.
Miller bred him and also prepared his dam Biara Rose (Dr Johnson) to three wins in Perth plus a black-type placing in the LR WA Tattersall’s Cup. The mare is a sister to LR Burgess Queen Stakes winner Belhari
Winning jockey Jason Whiting was impressed with the winner’s finish. “He didn’t jump that well and we were further back than I would have liked. But we got a cart into the race and he really found the line.”
Runner-up Latakia Friars is also heading for a classic campaign targeting the G3 WA Oaks (2400m) on April 1. She didn’t debut until Australia Day and won a Bunbury maiden over 2038m last month.
Latakia Friars (3f Blackfriars – Rose Of Latakia by Conquistarose) is a homebred for Gold Front Thoroughbreds and is a half-sister to G1 Champagne Stakes winner Carry On Cutie.
Blackfriars reached another milestone on Thursday with his 100th win for the season and he did it in style at Pinjarra. The Simon Miller-trained filly Blackline made all the running to score by 9 lengths.
The Scenic Lodge champion has sired 64 winners of 100 races since August 1 for prizemoney over $3.85 million. And there’s the prospect of more million-dollar races on the radar for his chief earner Black Heart Bart.