Damien Oliver produced a gem to get Voodoo Lad home in the Winterbottom

Damien Oliver Heads Home To Hand Voodoo Lad First Group 1 Win

The first-day of summer provided the perfect backdrop to the second week of Ascot Racecourse’s TABtouch Masters event, where a large crowd of enthusiastic racegoers took in the running of the $1,000,000 Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes sprint.

Champion jockey and former West Australian Damien Oliver led Voodoo Lad ($13) to its first Group 1 victory with a storming run down the outside of the field. The Darren Weir trained gelding has become the eighth interstate horse to win the Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes in the last 11 years.

Enticing Star was the only local horse in the first four, coming in second for trainer Adam Durrant, champion WA hoop William Pike and owner-breeder Bob Peters. Peter Gelagotis’ Malaguerra finished third and 2017 winner and race favourite Viddora finished unplaced after getting stuck in heavy traffic and failing to find a clear run.

Off the track the action was just as impressive with the Pilbara Regional Heat Winner taking home the coveted 2018 WA Country Cups Fashions on the Field title.

In front of a VIP marquee of racing industry personnel, government, media and socialites Courtney Horsman, representing Port Hedland Turf Club, took out first prize. Courtney won a trip for two to Royal Ascot in the UK, plus more than $15,000 worth of additional prizes.

The WA Country Cups Fashion Final is the culmination of months of regional heats with nine winners representing race clubs from across WA’s regions.

Wildcard entrant Khristina Vasko was the first runner-up whilst Emilia Hyvarinen, the South West Regional Heat winner, was second runner-up on the day.

Ascot Racecourse again offered a range of hospitality and entertainment options for patrons from the highly popular Monty Cotton Band belting out Johnny Cash renditions, to a fully booked stand-up Cocktail event in the upstairs grandstand. The day finished with a large crowd enjoying toe-tapping live music in the Stone Motherless Bar before winding down for the night.

The 1200m Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes was the culmination of week two of The TABtouch Masters, which has helped increase tourism visitors into Western Australia for the coveted three weeks of $1 million Group 1 racing.

“We are very pleased to be working with the State Government through Tourism WA, helping drive eastern states and international guests to Perth,” said Perth Racing Managing Director Professor John Yovich.

“Today marks another sensational Group 1 race and one we are very proud to be able to offer to the people of Perth as well as providing as an attraction for visitors.”