Perth Cup hopeful Starlight Lady will back in the Group 3 $100,000 Queen’s Cup (2200m) at Ascot on Saturday after winning there last weekend.
Starlight Lady was back in the winner’s stall for the first time since winning at Belmont in July 2013 with a win in the $52,500 Tony Carter Memorial Trophy (2200m), a benchmark 72+ Handicap, and trainer Karen Kersley immediately mapped out a plan to run in the Group 2 $500,000 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on January 1.
“I have never backed her up,” Kersley told The West Australian.
“Normally she pulls up fresh from a start but it’s just something I have never done.
The Perth trainer will be aiming to saddle up the eight year old mare for her third Perth Cup start after finishing fifth to Talent Show (Jarrod Noske) in 2013 and fourteenth to Black Tycoon (Damien Oliver) in January this year.
Following her run in the Queen’s Cup Kersley plans to run Starlight Lady in the Group 2 WFA $250,000 LD Total – C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot on December 20 as her final lead up run for the Perth Cup.
“Running her in the Cox Stakes suits because it is a better program and it has better prize money,” Kersley said.
2014 Perth Cup winner Black Tycoon finished fourth behind the three year old Ihtsahymn in the C.B. Cox Stakes while Talent Show also finished fourth in the same race before winning the Perth Cup the previous year.
Even though Starlight Lady hadn’t won for eighteen months before last Saturday’s victory, she has been placed on three occasions with a second in the 2013 Listed $150,000 XXXX Gold Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m) at Kalgoorlie, a third behind Pop Culture in a 2200m Handicap at Ascot during last year’s carnival prior to running in the 2014 Perth Cup.
And then three starts back the Fantastic Light mare was runner up in a 2100m BenchMark 72+ Handicap at Belmont on October 14.
Starlight Lady has won nine of her forty-nine starts and has earned over $330,000 in prizemoney for her connections.