Blackfriars gelding Black Fantasy has firmed into a $7 equal third-favourite for the G2 Perth Cup (2400m) following his latest black-type victory in the LR George Towton Cup (2200m) at Ascot on Saturday.

He shares the third-line of markets for the New Year’s Day feature with Blackfriars mare Be Optimistic who won the LR Alan Scahill Stakes (1400m) at her penultimate start for trainer Luke Fernie.

Black Fantasy (5g Blackfriars – Dreamalong by Southern Image) had won the LR Aquanita Stakes (2000m) and LR Belmont Classic (2200m) prior to a tendon injury that kept him sidelined from July 2022 until last month.

“The tendon has been good as gold,” co-trainer Dan Pearce said as Willie Pike returned to scale after the front-running victory.  “He was headed by Neufbosc but fought back like a high-class horse.  It’s really good to have him back.”

The born-again stayer (Photo / Western Racepix) was bred and sold by Scenic Lodge for $36,000 at the 2020 Perth Magic Millions and Saturday’s result sent his earnings through $534,000 with Westspeed Bonuses.

He’s a three-quarter brother to Shining Knight (Blackfriars) who won a G3 Belmont Sprint for Peters Investments in 2015.  His dam Dreamalong had been purchased by Scenic Lodge from the same source a year earlier for $25,000.

Black Fantasy and Be Optimistic are both from the final crop of Scenic Lodge legend Blackfriars. Together they have also helped propel Scenic Lodge to the top of the WA Breeders table for individual black-type winners (4) this season.

Scenic Lodge sire Universal Ruler is also set for a successful festive season with his consistent mare Yonga Lass lining up in the LR Starstruck Classic (1600m) at Ascot this Saturday for trainers Grant and Alana Williams.

Impressive Racing owner-trainer Darren McAuliffe prepared his latest Universal Ruler winner on Sunday when Masamune led from go-to-whoa for Joe Azzopardi in the Own The Dream Maiden (1208m) at Bunbury.

Masamune is the final foal of Impressive Racing mare Shibata (Testa Rossa) who was pensioned last year – she’s a half-sister to Kidnapped (G1 South Australian Derby), Academus (G2 WA Guineas) and Hauraki (G2 Tulloch Stakes).

McAuliffe must hold some sort record with Universal Ruler after guiding him to 6 wins in 12 starts topped by the G3 Belmont Sprint (1400m) in 2009.  Masamune is the Lark Hill trainer’s 38th individual winner by Universal Ruler conceived at Scenic Lodge and they have combined to win an astounding 127 races!