A fifteen horse Perth Cup field has been released for the Group 2 on New Year’s Eve with Group 1 winning mare Perfect Reflection to cart the 59kg top weight in the Ascot Racecourse classic.
The $500,000 Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) headlines the December 31 racing action and out to make history under the big weight is the Grant & Alana Williams-trained daughter of More Than Ready Perfect Reflection.
She and Perth’s premier hoop William Pike came up trumps with gate six in the Perth Cup barrier draw, but the four-year-old gives the weight away to all fourteen of her rivals.
Last Perth Summer Racing Carnival the fellow Williams-trained mare Delicacy won the Perth Cup under the same kilos on the back of a Group 2 CB Cox Stakes (2100m) win.
Perfect Reflection now chases the same summer racing double after she posted her longest-distanced win to date in the traditional Perth Cup lead-up race run this season as the Ted Van Heemst Stakes on December 17.
Delicacy was the sixth Perth Cup winner for prolific W.A. owner-breeder Bob Peters who also races Perfect Reflection.
The latest Perth Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au have Perfect Reflection listed as the $4 second elect to hand Peters his seventh win.
She trails only the Geoff Durrant & Jason Miller-trained Kia Ora Koutou who headlines an imposing five-horse contingent for the duo in this year’s Perth Cup field.
He enjoyed his first victory since October last year when taking out the Listed JRA Trophy (2200m) at Ascot on December 10.
This weekend he comes down from 55kg that run to the 54kg minimum Perth Cup weight and has jockey Joseph Azzopardi retaining the ride from gate eight.
Durrant & Miller also saddle-up Dark Alert from one wider in barrier nine with reigning Perth Cup winning hoop Peter Hall aboard the Testa Rossa five-year-old.
Dark Alert is on the short seven day turnaround after his fourth to stablemate Star Exhibit in the Listed A.T.A. Stakes (2200m) at the track on Christmas Eve.
The stable’s ATA Stakes winner Star Exhibit also backs-up in the Group 2 this weekend jumping from barrier 10 with Jarrad Noske booked to partner the in-form Statue Of Liberty gelding.
The other best out of the ATA Stakes is the Fred Kersley-trained runner-up Respondent drawn the outside barrier on Saturday (15) with Chris Parnham riding the Haradasun six-year-old.
Kersley’s other Perth Cup hopeful is Ihtsahymn who with 56kg is the only other acceptor along with Perfect Reflection to carry above 54kg.
Ihtsahymn comes off comes off a third in the Ted Van Heemst Stakes crossing one further back than the surprise runner-up Fathoms Of Gold.
Local Fath six-year-old Fathoms Of Gold jumped a $51 roughie in the Ted Van Heemst Stakes before running under a length away second and currently pays $15 to turn the tables with an upset Perth Cup result.
Latest Perth Cup odds courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au: Kia Ora Koutou ($3.20); Perfect Reflection ($4); Star Exhibit ($7.50); Tradesman ($9); Dark Musket ($15); Fathoms Of Gold ($15); Ihtsahymn ($17); Respondent ($17); Zarantz ($17); Dubai Escapade ($19); Dark Alert ($21); Neverland ($21); Tick Tick Bloom ($26); Cougar Express ($61); The Forgotten One ($81).