The feature this week is the Group 1 WFA Kingston Town stakes, 1800m Ascot. It’s a good race in that the top few are high quality, but there are a few who I think lack the class to win. The last few winners have been:
The map is always important at Ascot, over all trips, and I see a moderate to even pace in this race:
I think most runners will get their chance, however it’ll be a slight advantage to be on pace here I believe.
My prices on the race:
Runner By Runner Preview
My runner by runner thoughts:
#1 TRAP FOR FOOLS
Such a solid racehorse… ex Perth galloper now with Jarrod McLean in Victoria, travelling back to Perth to race…! He makes his own luck on pace and rolls along, rated 110 or 111 nearly all the time, rarely runs poorly and I have to give him the 111 today. Maps outside the lead but may come over and cross. I think he’ll be there for a long way but ultimately be over run here however.
#2 MATERIAL MAN
Good in the Railway, had to work more in the run on the good pace than the winner GALAXY STAR did, who came from back and weaved through. He rated 113 there, has a best of 114, is a 7yo but will get EPC again, makes his own luck on pace.
#3 GREAT SHOT
They went quick in the Railway and he sat in the breeze, that was a tough ask, couldn’t go on in the straight. Prior form was OK, 111 the start before and 113 the one before that in the Northerly, he also maps really well on pace and this shouldn’t be as quick run as the Railway was, gets chance to bounce back.
Racing super. Won really well first up going 114 over too short a trip 1400m, that’s his top, and then we were on him in the Railway when he ran 2nd to Galaxy Star and went 111. Find out via the Steward’s Report later that he pulled up lame there.
Explains the drop in figure, however he was still very good. Not ideal that he was lame LST and did have race plates on that day which indicate maybe he has some feet issues at the moment. So I can’t give him top but he’ll get a good run and he’s a super genuine galloper.
#5 STAR EXHIBIT
Best of 109 on the dry, did do a spike 114 one time on the heavy at Doomben but he does prefer the wet. In OK form this prep but I think the 109 is the best we could see as he is a 7yo now and he needs a bit more to win.
#6 MISTER SEA WOLF
OK in the Railway effectively 2nd up, went 108 and has a top of 113. Will go back is the issue but otherwise is ready to peak I would have thought. First look 1800m but I don’t think that’s an issue.
#7 HEART STARTER
Has a best of 108 but effectively more, I think he’s more like a 111 horse at top. His first up run was a bit ordinary though, they changed the tactics on him and led, didn’t like it. Still, his last couple of preps he hasn’t peaked. Should map OK, likely short of the job though even at his top.
#8 PRYING TOM
PRYING TOM, an awkward name for a racehorse, was just fair first up rating 96, and has a best of 108, but that makes him short of what’s needed here and I can’t reasonably project him up.
#9 ACHERNAR STAR
Was disappointing in the Railway after a good run in the Lee Steere stakes when he rated 112 behind Gatting. He maps perfectly though and you always have to forgive one bad run with a good horse early in a prep, so happy to mark him up.
ICONOCLASM is a 112 horse on the make, for mine. Probably effectively did it when he won at Caulfield earlier in the Spring rating 110, it’s just a matter of time until he does. Maps well from a good middle draw, gets his chance to do it here and with Yendall on for Weir I want to mark him right up to that.
#11 HOLY SNOW
Ex Mick Price galloper having his first start for Weir, and has Pateman on. As far as I can see in recent years this is the first time Mitch Pateman has ridden for D K Weir, but it’s a good match. Mitch is an excellent WA rider and will give HOLY SNOW his chance, though he will go back. Is a 111 horse at top, but the Weir “magic” may improve him a little too…
#12 GALAXY STAR
Fantastic winner of the Railway going 114, aided by an amazing W.Pike ride and a good pace in front. GALAXY STAR gets back and did that day but she somehow managed to rail up, virtually having a snog with the rail the whole way around the bend Pike saved so much ground, then angled the mare out to the outside without losing any momentum to win solidly.
Was an amazing ride. Today, Pike isn’t on… he’s gone to ARCADIA QUEEN! GALAXY STAR has drawn 14 and will have to go back, I map her last in the run. Parnham will probably not have the pace on that Pike did in the Railway, I’ve therefore brought the mare back a little. Classy horse but the gate makes it tough.
#13 ELEGANT BLAST
#14 PERFECT JEWEL
Value runner of the race, for mine. Enormous run in the Railway, shuffled back to last by the HT and saved ground on the rail then held up, found the line strongly final 100m and strong after the line. She rated 108 there but it was 108+ and I think she has a 113 in her. Will be back again but has drawn 4 so hopefully Hall doesn’t go too far back, big improver the extra trip and she’s right in this.
#15 ARCADIA QUEEN
Star filly. Has rated 110 both her last two runs over the Ascot mile and I see no prob with the 1800m. I can’t give her more than the 110 because if you start suggesting she can do 115 then she’s up in rare air. She’s already in exceptional company at 110 for a filly and if she holds that with 50 kgs at WFA then she wins the race.
They can’t beat her if she does 110 with 50 kgs… the only question is what price do you take? Similarly with VIDDORA last week, she was clearly the one to beat but she did not peak. They don’t always peak obviously, so it’s all about what price you take them to peak. She’s clearly the one to beat but a bit short to back.
Cameron O’Brien’s exceptional record in big Group 1 races continued on Voodoo Lad ($14) in last week’s Winterbottom Stakes.
That follows Best Solution ($13) in this year’s Caulfield Cup, Rekindling ($21) in the 2017 Melbourne Cup and Boom Time ($51) in the 2017 Caulfield Cup.
Not to mention a 2nd to Gatting ($13) a fortnight ago in the Railway Stakes.
Cam really does love this time of the year – follow him in this weekend.