kingston town classic

Saturday marks the final Group 1 race of 2020 with the $1 million Kingston Town Classic at Ascot Racecourse, Perth. Champion Bets pro punter Cameron O’Brien – the man behind our Key Bets and Key Race Insights services – has put together his thoughts on this year’s race below.

The top of the market with TopSport currently looks like this (prices at Friday morning):

$2.25 Inspirational Girl
$7.50 Dom To Shoot
$7.50 Too Close The Sun
$10 Kay Cee
$10 Watch Me Dance

Kingston Town Classic: recent history

The Group 1 Kingston Town, the final Group 1 of 2020! This is generally another nice race. A couple of three-year-olds have the done the damage the last two years. Arcadia Queen was obviously exceptional when winning in 2018, rating 116. Kay Cee couldn’t quite match that last year, winning with a rating of 107. In 2016 Stratum Star came over for Darren Weir. He’d had a little freshen since an unsuccessful Spring campaign, but managed to find form to win here and go to his equal top of 115. He won his next couple and again went 115 winning the Peter Young at Caulfield at Group 2 level the following February.

Pounamu was third-up in 2017 off a solid 108-109 first two ratings, and got up to 112 which was enough to win that year. He held that figure next run winning at Group 2 level at Ascot in the Van Heemst too.

Arcadia Queen shouldn’t need much introduction, she was the star WA three-year-old of her year, and going 116 as a three-year-old is exceptional. This Spring just gone she has twice gone 116 again, winning the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes and the G1 Mackinnon. She’s one of our best mares in the nation around this trip.

Last year the three-year-old filly Kay Cee won rating 107, much less than Arcadia Queen. Kay Cee had come off a 102 in the WA Guineas the start before. She did win the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes four weeks prior in this prep, too, going 111. But couldn’t perform in the Railway this year. She’s in again this year trying to go back to back.

Kingston Town Classic: the chances

Inspirational Girl is again clearly the one to beat, see below for a detailed explanation of her form and the slight issue she has on the map. If not her, then there’s a few chances. The greybeards up the top – Gailo Chop and Trap For Fools – technically still do have the ability to run a race, and for your exotics they could fill holes at a price. Too Close The Sun would prefer a bit of sting out but he has performed on dry too… still, I’d be keener him in the wet. Neufbosc is overs (see below), was a surprising winner last start and the 1800 metres is right up his alley.

Cup Night is in okay form too and at a price. Uni Time is in career best form and can win this if the favourite fails to fire, as can Kay Cee if she can bounce back from the poor Railway run.

In reality it’s Inspirational Girl’s race to lose however. She was devastating last time in the Railway and if she holds that form, she wins.

I’m expecting the pace to be okay here. Gailo Chop (Barrier 4) from the good draw should take it up, and I think Too Close The Sun (Barrier 10) can drop in behind with Trap For Fools (Barrier 17) pushing on from wider out. That should ensure it’s well run. A few drawn wide may end up posted back, and could therefore have a task. 1800 metres at Ascot gives most horses their chance, but in a field this size you don’t want to be a mile off them. That’s the query for those horses right back. Those around midfield with a trail get every possible chance. Back on the rail is not ideal as you will really need luck.

I have them in this order:

Inspirational Girl

Clearly the one to beat again. She was held up and had to check around the turn in the Railway, then when she got out she accelerated and put them away easily. She rated well but could have rated higher so I have pushed her a little higher here. However… the gate is an issue. Drawn second widest, Pike has no option but to go back or be forced to race wide. The pace on will help him if he goes back, but the gate is certainly an issue. That being said, he’s riding exceptionally so he can probably overcome it.

Kay Cee

Nice mare who won this race last year. She disappointed in the Railway but was very good in the Lee Steere the start before. I’m going to forgive, but it is a slight query.


Surprising winner over the 1400m last start and better suited up to this trip. He is one of those runners who maps well behind the pace, so he should get every possible here.

Uni Time

Ran a big race at big odds in the Railway when he motored home, and should be better suited again here at the 1800 metres. Looks to be really finding his top.

Too Close The Sun

Strong winner two back but couldn’t hold it, and a bit disappointing last start. That said he maps very well and the trip is no problem. It may be that he prefers a little bit of sting out for his absolute best (like two back) however. That’s his issue.

Cup Night

Certainly good enough to win. He always needs luck with how he maps however, and this is no different. First look at 1800 metres, but I don’t think that’ll be an issue

Gailo Chop

Going to get the lead here. Was good three back at Caulfield. He’s a ten years old now though, and there’s a query on him finding his top.


Has a bit of an issue from the gate, but he’s come back well this prep and looks on track for a peak (or close to it) here. Already a winner this track and trip too.

Trap For Fools

Seven-year-old who was good resuming but a flat sincs. Trialled up well though.

Dom To Shoot

Good last start against the pace and on the up… but needs to find a lot for me.

Pro-punter Cameron O'Brien knows how to find value winners at big prices. He's done it time and time again for his Key Bets members. They get all of Cameron's tips from right across Australia, including stake, recommended price and runner comments.

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