The Perth Cup dream lives on for Ben Pearce

Image: RWWA

Coach Ben Pearce has been chasing the dream of winning the Perth Cup for two decades

It was a driving ambition before he went solo and formed a successful co-training partnership with his brother Dan.

The seeds of Ben Pearce’s Perth Cup vision were first sown when he was working with Geoff Durrant, father of Adam, the multiple Perth trainers’ champion.

Geoff Durrant had Give Me A Chance to compete in the 2002 Perth Cup (3200m) when the gelding finished second to Cardinal Colors at odds of 8-1.

Born in Bristol, England, Pearce has a great opportunity to fulfill his Perth Cup ambitions with Queen Alina on Sunday.

The lightly raced daughter of Mahuta is building an impressive strike tally, winning four races and finishing no further than fourth in eight races.

“I worked with Durrant’s when I was growing up and starting out in the business and I remember giving Give Me A Chance the Perth Cup,” Pearce told The Races WA.

“He finished second and from there it was always a race I wanted to win.

“I love the training sessions and always thought I would like to win the Perth Cup.

“At the beginning of the new season, we would like to choose the main one.

“I’m excited to have my first Perth Cup starter and a good one too.

Pearce said the Perth Cup had become a reality for Queen Alina after it confirmed its middle track credentials in December.

After winning a mile at Belmont easily, she attacked for second to Coolth over 2100m before producing a similar run over the exact distance when running late.

Queen Alina enters the G2 Perth Cup as the most inexperienced of the 16 runners, but Pearce says her class can help compensate for her lack of racing experience.

“She’s only lightly raced, but I think that kind of race suits progressive horses on the way through,” Pearce said.

“We thought if she could run a trip with that leg turn, she’d be quite a handy horse.

“I’m giving her a real chance to win and I think she’s right.

“He’s always a horse that we’ve had a high opinion and rating of.”

“The Perth Cup suits progressive horses and she and Truly Inspired are those two.

Queen Alina has drawn barrier 10 and will be tackled by Shaun McGruddy for the first time.

“We’re happy with Shooter (McGruddy) and happy to have someone who likes to ride her,” Pearce said.

“I don’t think there are many better on the big day.

“He’s a good big racing driver and brings a lot of energy.

“He’s always up and about.

Alaskan God is the current Tabtouch favorite at $3.80, ahead of Truly Inspired ($5.50) and Buster Bash ($7.50).

At $8, Queen Alina shares another row with 2021 Perth Cup winner Neufbosc.

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