Perth Cup favourite Real Love won’t run in Saturday’s Group 2 weight for age $250,000 LD Total – C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot.
Real Love jumped to the top of market order for the Group 2 $500,000 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on New Year’s Day after scoring a comfortable win in the Group 3 $100,000 Queen’s Cup (2200m) at Ascot on December 6.
Leading Perth trainer Adam Durrant didn’t want to run the risk of Real Love winning the weight for age C.B. Cox Stakes and receiving a sizable penalty and instead will run the Desert King mare in the lesser graded Listed $100,000 W.A. St. Leger (2100m) on the same program.
“If she was to win the Cox Stakes she could jump too high on her ratings points,” Durrant told The West Australian.
“She could easily end up at the top of the cup weights.
“She will go into the St Leger and go from there.”
Durrant will still be represented in the C.B. Cox takes with veterans Chester Road and Mt Moet in the nominations along with last start Jungle Dawn Classic winner Real Charm and restricted gallopers Pants On Friar and Western Blaze.
Real Love showed her staying ability during the Perth Autumn Carnival and once again shone stepping up to the 2200m of the Queen’s Cup for the first time this preparation.
The lightly raced mare was placed twice over 2400m in the Perth Classics in the Autumn with a second to Balmont Girl in the Group 3 $250,000 W.A. Oaks and then finished third behind Respondent and Ihtsahymn in the Group 2 $400,000 Schweppes W.A.T.C. Derby at Ascot.
Durrant’s Group 1 winner Mr Moet and the well performed Chester Road and Real Charm are also heading towards the Perth Cup.
Mr Moet was the winner of the 2012 Group 1 $1m Carlton Draught-Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot and the C.B. Cox Stakes will be the seven year olds third run back from a lengthy spell.
At his first run for almost twelve months Mr Moet was beaten less than five lengths when fourteenth to Elite Belle in this year’s Railway Stakes on November 22 followed by a ninth to Moriarty in the Group 1 $500,000 TAB Touch – Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot to weeks later.
Chester Road has also had two runs back after almost two years away from the race track due to injury for a twelfth in the Railway Stakes and an eleventh in the Kingston Town Classic.
Real Love is still a clear cut $2.50 favourite for the Perth Cup ahead of Balmont Girl at $5 with the Justin Warwick trained Son Of Something a $10 chance after running second to Real Love in the Queen’s Cup.
Queen’s Cup third placegetter Ask Me Nicely is next in the betting at $12 ahead of Respondent, Bass Strait, Red Blast and Pop Culture at $14, Real Charm at $15, Mr Moet at $16 and Chester Road at $17.