With a big crowd expected to turn out at Ascot, today we bring you a preview of the Perth Cup, along with a hot little event at Randwick.
The last time at Randwick was on Boxing Day where you did not want to be anywhere near the fence. It’s rated a Dead 4 but the course manager indicated on Tuesday he would put a sprinkle of irrigation on it with more warm weather expected. The rail is out 3m so again we believe it will be of benefit to draw out, gain cover and build momentum into the finish. This is especially so in the sprint races.
Wishing you all a happy New Year. All the best in 2014.
ASCOT Race 8 — Golden River Developments Perth Cup 3yo+ Handicap (2400m)
There are only two form lines to look at going into this year’s Perth Cup. Half the field comes through the weight-for-age route of the Kingston Town and CB Cox Stakes, while the other half come through the ATA Handicap on December 18.
Firstly we’ll have a look at the key runners from the Cox Stakes, who are 1 KINCAPLE, 2 ROHAN and 3 BLACK TYCOON.
The topweight, 1 KINCAPLE, went to the front in the Cox Stakes which is against his usual pattern. He may well roll forward again given there is not a huge amount of pace and he has drawn the outside barrier, going forward will probably give him the best chance. He will have to break weight-carrying records to win this, and given that Mr Moet couldn’t do it last year with the same weight and he was probably going better than 1 KINCAPLE, we find it hard to see him winning.
2 ROHAN has been very consistent this preparation racing near the speed and looks right in this again. He seemed to just battle over the last 100m in the Cox Stakes with 3 BLACK TYCOON coming off his back and finishing much stronger. 2 ROHAN is a Derby winner though so the distance should be no problem, however he has had his injury issues. 3 BLACK TYCOON looks to be at his peak for this and finished well in the Cox Stakes. He has never won past 2100m so the 2400m staying test is a slight unknown. He is giving every indication he will run it out. 3 BLACK TYCOON is the one we favour from the Cox Stakes form line.
Now we look at those key runners coming out of the ATA Handicap: 11 KEEPER’S COURT, 12 KNIGHTLIKE, 15 POP CULTURE and 16 STARLIGHT LADY.
The winner of the ATA Handicap, 15 POP CULTURE, had things in her favour that day. She settled in the perfect spot and if she had lost there would have been doubt if she would ever win another race. That was her first win in a year. 12 KNIGHTLIKE pulled out from the 700m that day and kept coming but just couldn’t get past the mare late. They both drop 3.5kg from last start. They are drawn next to each other which should allow 12 KNIGHTLIKE to have the better of this pair.
11 KEEPER’S COURT and 16 STARLIGHT LADY both finished strongly from the back in the ATA Handicap. 11 KEEPER’S COURT drops 5kg from that day and was held up for a bit in the straight. He finished off like a grinding stayer so he should see out the 2400m. The concern for him is that he has drawn barrier 1 and might end up in a difficult position in running back along the fence. 16 STARLIGHT LADY is always finished powerfully, as those that can remember her Kalgoorlie Cup run will recall. She ran fifth in last year’s Perth Cup from a similar preparation. She is fourth-up and will be at her absolute peak for this, but she may just be a length or two off this level.
We will make mention of a race back on November 23 over 2100m. On that day, 3 BLACK TYCOON carried 3kg more than 12 KNIGHTLIKE and was able to just hold him off late. While the weight difference is only 1.5kg today, which favours 3 BLACK TYCOON, 12 KNIGHTLIKE finished brilliantly and had nothing to cart him into the race.
The absolute wildcard in the race is 13 MARDEN. The Adam Durrant stable purchased this horse and flew him across fresh off his win at Caulfield over 2000m three-and-a-half weeks ago. If will be a big ask for him to win this, but the field isn’t overly strong and if one stable can get him up for it, it’s the Durrant team.
If this race wasn’t named the “Perth Cup” it would be a very average 2400m handicap. Although recent history has the race run on New Year’s Day, the Perth Racing Committee should seriously consider a date change to late Autumn. This way, Eastern States horses who are towards the end of their campaign could come across for one last crack, and it could also add a wildcard of a three-year-old off a Derby campaign. At the moment, as a stand-alone race, it will only attract very average Perth stayers who have whacked away through ratings races all year.
Aside from that, it is always a good spectacle with a big crowd at Ascot. We are not tipping with great confidence, however we are leaning towards 12 KNIGHTLIKE who has been so consistent this preparation and should get a great run. 3 BLACK TYCOON and 2 ROHAN look great chances from the stronger form line while the mares 15 POP CULTURE and 16 STARLIGHT LADY will make their presence felt.
RANDWICK Race 4 — No Metro Wins Handicap (1100m)
For a no metropolitan win event, this is a fascinating affair and a very good race. Three blackbookers engaged suggests as much. Speed from 7 OYWOTZY and 1 PIRANDELLO. Tempo looks reasonable but depends on how keen they are on the top weight early from a wide barrier and whether the first-starter 3 PERA PERA shows as much pace as he did in his trial.
As noted, three blackbookers are engaged and some others either coming off good trials or in good form in weaker races. 10 EAGER is likely to run at Gosford on Tuesday so will be scratched.
6 ATMOSPHERICAL trialled very well on multiple occasions before stepping out at Kembla Grange and winning well for followers on debut. She looks a very talented filly and from barrier 4 it would be no surprise to see her go on with it here. Expecting her to start well in the market but she definitely looks hard to beat.
Two making their debuts here today and both have trialled nicely leading in. The Begg trained 4 REMAIN SILENT caught our eye with a nice trial on the December 16.
Trial report: “REMAIN SILENT – Got a long way back in behind runners. Held up a little in the early part of the straight and lost ground before going back to the inside. Ridden out a little but responded really nicely and had very good late sectionals. Ran through the line nicely and looks to have plenty of ability.”
Considering he has drawn barrier 6, he looks a nice proposition at very good odds. Definitely include in multiples.
The other debutant is 3 PERA PERA who had a trial on the same day over the shorter distance. He too went very nicely and can run well here. Three trials have all been on rain affected tracks.
1 PIRANDELLO is the class horse in this field and rightly concedes every horse 4.5kg or more. That does look a big ask considering some of these look like talented horses on the rise. Barrier 13 does not help also and he may be a risk at around the $3.50 mark.
5 TRAFALGAR BELLE has been in super form in weaker races. Winning form is good form as they say and no reason why he can’t run well again. Definitely worth including at the $20+ on offer.
A fascinating race and one in which there looks to be plenty of value, especially if playing exotics. The favourite 6 ATMOSPHERICAL does look the one to beat but 4 REMAIN SILENT can run well on debut at a big price. Have to respect a number of these. 3 PERA PERA and 5 TRAFALGAR BELLE go into exotics, as does 1 PIRANDELLO despite thinking he may be under the odds. Happy to play multiples around those mentioned above and a small each way bet on 4 REMAIN SILENT might be a smart option at around the $30 on offer currently.
THE TRIAL FILES’ SELECTIONS
FOR NEW YEAR’S DAY
• ASCOT Race 8 – 12 KNIGHTLIKE (each way)
• RANDWICK Race 4 – Exotics (6, 4, 3 – 5, 1)
• RANDWICK Race 4 – 4 REMAIN SILENT (small each way at big quote)