The bookies rate her an unbeatable chance in Saturday’s $500,000 Group 2 G1X.Com.Au Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot Racecourse but Delicacy’s owner-breeder Bob Peters isn’t so sure the favourite will salute from the inside alley.
Grant Williams’ classy Al Maher four-year-old mare is one of a capacity field of stayers set to face off in the feature race on Perth Cup Day this weekend and she came up with an early advantage drawing barrier one in the 16-starter line-up.
She may have lost Perth’s best hoop, William Pike jumping off the 59kg top weight in favour of the ride on her lightly-weighted stablemate Neverland (54kg), but her smart Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) win at the track last time out has Delicacy spot-on according to the betting markets.
Peter Hall, who rode her to victory in the Group 1 SA Oaks – SA Derby double at Morphettville back in May, is back aboard and happy to be there.
Peters however isn’t so sure the inside barrier is going to suit his $1.82 million earner in the Perth Cup.
“I suppose one isn’t particularly good for Delicacy,” Peters told The West Australian.
“She could get caught up on the rails and not get out, but it’s better than 20.”
Peters and wife Sandra won last summer’s Perth Cup with Real Love who defends her title from a horror barrier 17 (into 13) draw this weekend with the Adam Durrant-trained daughter of Desert King out to improve on a CB Cox Stakes fourth last time out.
The Peters are also represented by second best in betting Neverland and Respondent who should get an ideal run from barrier six with Chris Parnham aboard the five-year-old Haradsun gelding who comes off a fourth in the Listed A.T.A. Stakes (2200m) from last Wednesday.
The combination of Pike opting for the Neverland ride and the big weight carrying record Delicacy will have to set on the weekend to win has the punters nervous, but Peters assured fans the mare was a definite starter on Saturday.
“Everyone thinks something’s wrong with Delicacy,” he said.
“The stewards were down there (at trainer Grant Williams’ stables) today looking at her but it’s just the five-kilo difference (that caused Pike to choose Neverland).
“Five kilos is 10 lengths and I don’t think Neverland is 10 lengths slower than Delicacy.
“William and I had a good talk about it. We’ll go down together or we’ll look like heroes.”
The other big winners in the Perth Cup barrier draw include ATA Stakes winning Helenus mare Bedamijo (barrier two) and the Colin Webster-trained four-year-old Ascot specialist Properantes (barrier 8).
Last summer’s Perth Cup third placegetter Kirov Boy meanwhile has the outside alley to overcome in order to go two better than 12 months ago in the classic.