A decision on whether highly fancied Group 2 $400,000 Perth Cup candidate Ranger starts in 2400m feature on New Year’s Eve will be made after Saturday.
Prolific owner-breeder Bob Peters wants to see how the unlucky five-year-old performs in the Group 2 $225,000 Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot.
He is also contemplating the merits of the 58kg allotted to the son of Testa Rossa, the top-weight for the Perth Cup.
Ranger failed when 11th in last year’s Perth Cup after winning the W A St Leger (2100m) in the lead up.
His unraced dam Marrich Bay was by Old Spice and there is some concern of Ranger running the distance out.
TABsportsbet bookmakers have Ranger a $5.50 equal Perth Cup favourite with stablemate Tranquility who ran sixth in the race last year.
Her breeding Redoute’s Choice–Creatrix (by Umatilla) throws some doubt on running out a strong 2400m as well though the dam did win at 2000m in an unspectacular career.
Peters won the 2010 Cup with stoutly bred Lords Ransom (Jeune–Palace Alice) who has unplaced in five runs since.
He has still been given a 1/2kg more than when he won the Cup and a rating of 105 by the handicapper.
“He has dropped only two points despite having been unplaced at five starts since he won the Perth Cup in January 2010,” Peters said.
“Whether Ranger runs in the Cup depends on how he goes on Saturday.”
The classy bay has been unlucky at his past two starts, a fact bookmakers have taken into consideration.
They have him a $2.20 for Saturday’s assignment ahead of Kincaple ($7), Tranquility ($7) and Lords Ransom ($9).
Ranger was stopped in his tracks on the home turn in the well documented Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) won by Luckygray on protest.
He then was held up until the race was virtually over when second to Playing God in the Group 1 Kingston Town (1800m) last start.
Melbourne’s leading trainer Peter Moody still has Elusive King in the Perth Cup.
The four-year-old will be having his final trial in the Comic Court Handicap (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.