Monday’s Perth Cup favourite Trap For Fools has come up trumps for the half-a-million-dollar showdown drawing favourably in barrier four.
Ascot Racecourse hosts the highlight of New Year’s Day racing in W.A. with a full field of stayers engaged for this summer’s Group 2 $500,000 Perth Cup (2400m).
Heading the latest Perth Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au is the ultra-consistent Trap For Fools ($4.20) who is after his seventh win on the trot.
Lindsey Smith’s progressive Poet’s Voice four-year-old is yet to get out over the 2400m, but his lead-up form has been more than encouraging.
Trap For Fools was last seen winning the Listed A.T.A. Stakes (2200m) before Smith and connections opted not to put him on the short three day back-up into last Saturday’s Group 2 $400,000 Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m).
That could prove the winning move according to owner Geoff Evans.
“He’s done really well and I’m glad he didn’t run in the Ted van Heemst Stakes,” Evans told Perth Racing.
Trap For Fools also looks well-positioned in the Perth Cup weights allocated 54.5kg, a drop back from 57kg, with Alan Kennedy retaining the ride.
This season’s Perth Cup top weight with 59kg is the also in-form Pounamu ($5.50) for six-time Perth Cup winning trainer Alan Mathews.
A six-year-old son of Authorized, Pounamu saluted in the Group 1 $1 million Kington Town Classic (1800m) at $26 before saluting at a much shorter quote of $2.35 in the Ted Van Heemst Stakes.
He needs to be improving however after those weight-for-age victories giving the kilos away to his rivals in the rematch on Perth Cup Day from gate eight with regular rider Patrick Carbery in the saddle.
Mathews was pleased with the mid-field Perth Cup barrier draw for Pounamu, but knows the distance and weight are obvious challenges on Monday.
“I wanted him to draw in the first half of the field,” Mathews said.
“I didn’t want him to draw 16 and have to go back to last.
“The race (Ted van Heemst) did knock him a bit. He was a bit flat on Sunday, but he’s picked up quickly.
“He stepped up to 2100 and ran an exceptional last 600. I just hope he gets 2400.”
Success on Monday will see Mathews equal the training record of the late JJ Kelly with seven Perth Cup winners.
The other major player in Perth Cup betting is Material Man ($4.60), the Justin Warwick-trained six-year-old coming off seconds to Pounamu in both the Kingston Town Classic and Ted Van Heemst Stakes.
Material Man is drawn one closer to the fence than Monday’s favourite in gate three, with only the Joe Miller-trained A.T.A. Stakes runner-up Dark Alert (1) and the Grant & Alana Williams-trained Ted Van Heemst Stakes fourth placed mare Cosmic Storm (2) on his inside.