Perth’s glamour mare Perfect Reflection will be stepping up to 2100m for the first time when she takes her place in the Group 2 $250,000 Ted Van Heemst Stakes at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Champion Western Australian jockey William Pike is confident that Perfect Reflection will handle the extra distance after a last start third behind Stratum Star and Scales Of Justice in the Group 1 $1m Peters Investments-Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot on December 3.
“I’m very keen to get her over the ground,” Pike told the West Australian.
“It’s a little bit of an unknown, but the key for me is to get her to relax and conserve some energy early. If I can get her to settle she will run it out.
“A bit further might just be what she’s looking for.”
But Pike’s first problem will be to overcome a wide barrier after the Grant and Alana Williams trained Perfect Reflection draw gate twelve in the fourteen horse weight for age feature.
“She’s still going well,” Pike said.
“I think we bumped into a couple of exceptional ones (Stratum Star and Scales Of Justice) the other day.
“It’s hard to line up her three-year-old form to now really, because she was carrying lighter weights last year.
“She’s working well.”
Perfect Reflection was one of the stars of the 2015 Perth Summer Carnival and as a three year old filly was able to beat the older horses at weight for age in the Kingston Town Classic.
Perfect Reflection was then campaigned in Melbourne during the 2016 Autumn Carnival and her best effort from two starts was a third in the Group 3 $150,000 The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington on February 20.
A return to Perth racing this Spring has seen the More Than Ready mare produce one win and two placings in the lead up to her third in the Kingston Town Classic and she kicked off her campaign with Pike in the saddle with a first up third to Lite’N In My Veins in the Group 3 $150,000 Northerly Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on October 15.
Perfect Reflection was then back in the winner’s stall with a victory in the Group 2 $250,000 Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on November 5 followed by a third behind Scales Of Justice and Good Project in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on November 19.
The Grant and Alana Williams Racing Team will also saddle up Neverland and I’m Feeling Lucky in the Ted Van Heemst Stakes.
Neverland has drawn the best of the stable’s three runners at barrier two with Peter Hall to ride and is coming off a last start fifth in the Kingston Town Classic while I’m Feeling Lucky with Glenn Smith in the saddle has drawn midfield at barrier seven and is stepping up in class and distance after a first up second in the Listed $100,000 Jungle Dawn Classic (1400m) at Ascot on December 3.