Like An Eagle wins Hareeba
West Australian sprinter Like An Eagle landed the best win of his career so far when he powered home late to take out the Listed $100,000 Hareeba Stakes at Mornington.
Prepared at Bunbury by Ross Price and his son Clint, Like An Eagle has won six of his 10 starts and is heading towards the $1 million Newmarket Hcp (1200m) at Flemington on March 10.
Ridden by Damien Oliver, the Oratorio four-year-old was sent out at $3.30 on Wednesday and rocketed home after settling back from a wide gate to beat Eight Bills ($9.50) by a length with Marveen ($21) 1-1/4 lengths away third.
“It’s great to win a Listed race over here,” Clint Price said.
“He’s got a lot of ability this guy so we’ll keep him over here for a few starts and see how we go.”
Price said the gelding would run in the $100,000 Premium Hcp (1200m) under lights at Moonee Valley on March 2 before tackling the Newmarket.
He said it was planned to bring Like An Eagle to Melbourne since he won four 1200m races in succession at Belmont from July to September.
“We just wanted to make sure he was right because he wasn’t always 100 per cent sound but he trialled well at Bunbury about a month ago,” he said.
Price said because he was such a big horse and had had “little joint issues”, Like An Eagle was better suited in Victoria where the tracks are a bit softer.
Oliver was delighted to win the Hareeba for the connections who include former top WA jockey Rod Kemp.
“It meant a lot to me. Rod Kemp was an idol of mine growing up and the Price family were always close to my family, particularly to my brother (Jason) who won a Railway Stakes for Clint’s old man,” Oliver said.
“It was a good effort. He was a bit fresh the other day (when beaten narrowly by Pago Rock over 1200m at Sandown late last month) but he settled nicely today and showed great acceleration.
“A nice handicap is not beyond him, down in the weights, he’s got a good turn of foot, settled off the speed.
“He’s the kind of horse you want in a big sprint handicap.”