Western Empire

Western Empire scares away opposition

The Listed Schweppes-Melvista Stakes (2200m) will only have six runners contesting it this year with Western Empire scaring off all other opposition. 

The impressive three-year-old gelding by Iffraaj has won three of his last four races, including two dominant victories in the lead up to the Melvista by a combined margin of 8.4 lengths.  

The states leading jockey Chris Parnham has ridden him to victory in his last two starts, but with William Pike back from his stint in Victoria, he will take over the reigns as they head towards the Group 2 WATC Derby (2400m). 

While on paper the Melvista looks a one-horse race, the Group 3 City Of Belmont-WA Oaks (2400m) looks to be more competitive with four runners priced under $10.  

Again, it will be William Pike in the cerise and white to beat aboard Pure Devotion who has opened as the short-priced favourite following her narrow defeat in the Listed Natasha (2200m) and her third placing in the Listed 1000 Guineas (1800m). 

It will be Pike’s first Saturday back in Western Australia following his success last weekend in Victoria which included a Group 1 victory on Friday night and four winners at Mornington on Saturday.