High class German galloper Magic Artist is holding on to favouritism for the Group 1 $1m Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Magic Artist’s price has hovered between $3.80 and $3.90 with Ladbtokes.com.au since the final field was released earlier in the week and still holds a slight advantage of local unbeaten filly Perfect Refection who is the second pick in the betting at $4.40.
The Andreas Wohler trained Magic Artist has recent Group 1 form during the Melbourne Spring Carnival while Perfect Reflection has only been to the races on four occasions for four wins.
Magic Artist also has the advantage of drawing the inside gate in the sixteen horses field and will have the services of champion Melbourne jockey Damien Oliver who takes over from Blake Shinn who was aboard the five year old last start when fourth to Turn Me Loose in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 7.
At his other Spring Carnival start seven days earlier Brenton Avdulla was in the saddle when fourth to Gailo Chop in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) o Derby Day.
Oliver expects Magic Artist to be very hard to beat especially after drawing the rails and stepping back up to 1800m.
“He’s the type of horse that can take advantage of that, particularly if the track races like it did last week when it was hard to make ground, you’d think it’d be a good draw for him,” Oliver told racing.com.
“He was able to hold a reasonable position in the Mackinnon.”
“The mile, they probably beat him a bit for speed, but the 1800m at Ascot should be ideal with him – especially with a month between runs.
“He’s had time to freshen up, he likes firm ground too, so he’s got a bit in his favour.”
The Grant Williams trained Perfect Reflection has only been to the races on four occasions for four wins and will be stepping up to Group 1 company for the first time following her win in the Group 3 $200,000 Breast Cancer Care- W.A. Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) at Ascot three weeks ago.
Leading Perth jockey William Pike has been aboard Perfect Reflection for all her race starts and will be in the saddle again this weekend, but unlike the favourite Magic Artist, has drawn out wide at twelve.
On the third line of betting are the two well performed Perth mares Real Love and Delicacy at $6.
Real Love was in outstanding form during the 2014 – 2015 Perth Summer Carnival when she raced up through the classes to claim a hat trick of wins when she claimed the Group 2 $500,000 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on New Year’s Day.
This Summer she resumed from a spell for a first up win in the Group 3 $150,000 Seacorp Starlight-Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on October 31 then was always well back in the field on a leader bias track when seventh to Good Project in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium-Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot a fortnight ago.
Delicacy, a stablemate of Perfect Reflection, created history during the Autumn as a three year old filly when she became a dual Oaks winner and a dual Derby winner.
Delicacy’s phenomenal run of victories kicked off with a win in the Group 3 $250,000 Reliance Partners W.A. Oaks (2400m) at Ascot on March 28 followed by a win in the Group 2 $400,000 Schweppes W.A.T.C. Derby (2400m) at Ascot.
Trainer Grant Williams then took her to Morphettville in Adelaide to claim the Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes Oaks (registered as Australasian Oaks) (2000m) and the Group 1 $500,000 South Australian Derby (2500m).
Black Heart Bart has gained a huge local following because of his high winning percentage and is next in the betting at $8.
The Vaughn Sigley trained five year old scored a hat trick of wins this campaign before making up some ground in the straight against the trend when fourth in the Railway Stakes.
Kingston Town Classic market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.90 Magic Artist, $4.40 Perfect Reflection, $6 Delicacy, Real Love, $8 Black Heart Bart, $15 Neverland, $18 Man Booker, $21 Extra Zero, Balmont Girl, Blackwood, Hazzabeel, $41 London Line, $67 Tower Of Lonhro, $101 Bass Strait, $151 Dark Musket, Woodsville.
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