A string of below par runs will hopefully come to an end in Thursday’s Perth Cup for the Gino Poletti-trained Classique Ivory who has a jockey change with Patrick Carbery booked for the ride.
The local Ascot-based Poletti was forced to look outside of the Savabeel six-year-olds’ two regular riders with Lucas Camilleri on suspension and Shaun O’Donnell booked to ride rival Balmont Girl in the $500,000 Group 2 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) in W.A. on New Year’s Day.
“He (Patrick) has won a few, and Lucas got time, so that is why I got Patty on him, and he has won on the horse before so it works out well,” Poletti told Perth Racing on Tuesday.
Carbery jumps aboard the outside hope for the first time since the pair combined to win a colts-and-geldings’ handicap over 1200m first-up at the track back in December of 2012.
Classique Ivory’s form that season and last year were good, but his performances have been far from impressive this time in.
Winner of the Listed Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m) from an outside barrier 13 of 15 draw with O’Donnell in the saddle in September last year, the galloper’s latest win was in the Listed Bunbury Cup (2200m) on March 13.
O’Donnell was also aboard that day where the winning horse pulled up lame post-race after defeating Operational by a half-length at the provincial meet.
Unplaced runs have followed since, including two 11th place finishes to lead into the Perth Cup clash.
Two back he ran in the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2200m) when beaten six and a half lengths by Thursday’s favourite Real Love.
Then on December 20 Classique Ivory was unable to finish closer than four and a half lengths off Railway Stakes winning mare Elite Belle for her victory in the Group 3 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m).
In the C.B. Cox Stakes he carried 59kg under the weight-for-age conditions but drops to a more manageable 54kg for Saturday carrying the minimum.
It’s a tough assignment however with Perth Cup betting led by the Adam Durrant-trained Queen’s Cup – W.A. St. Leger double winner Real Love on $2.60, the four-year-old mare also carrying only 54kg.
While Real Love secured her clear favouritism with a nice barrier five draw, Classique Ivory will have a bit extra to do from gate 11 that could be barrier nine on race day if the two emergency runners Starlight Lady (9) and Bedamijo (3) fail to get a run.
Poletti admits that a draw a little closer to the rails would have been ideal, but he still believes the horse is capable of a credible run from that position especially with Carbery aboard.
“It’s a good barrier, a bit closer would have been nice but that is good for him,” he said.
“He’s been drawing wide barriers all the time and it has forced us to go back too far, so I’m just hoping we can land mid-field and let’s see what he can do.
“He’s not over-raced, so I think he has got another good season in him.”
Carbery is after his second winning Perth Cup ride after success aboard the Alan Matthews-trained Lottila Bay back in 2001.
He also rode Senhor Da Gama for a third behind the Bob Peters bred-and-owned mare Western Jewel for the 2011 December edition of the race.