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Muchea-based WA horseman Alan Mathews scored the upset of the day at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday with his always honest grey Pounamu heading an all-local trifecta in the Group 1 $1 million Magic Millions Kingston Town Classic (1800m).

Black Heart Bart

Black Heart Bart (pictured at Caulfield) could only manage to run ninth as the beaten favourite in the 2017 Kingston Town Classic results. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

The final Group 1 race of 2017 in Australia, the Kingston Town Classic was tipped to be the Darren Weir-trained champion Black Heart Bart’s for the taking.

The five-time Group 1 winner however had zero luck from the inside alley getting a bad check at the 200m and never featuring as a contender, the beaten favourite eventually crossing over five lengths back ninth.

Given a patient ride by Patrick Carbery meanwhile was six-year-old Authorized gelding Pounamu, a former Sydney-trained galloper who improved on a lead-up sixth in the Group 1 $1 million Railway Stakes (1600m).

In the Railway Stakes over the mile, the recent Asian Beau Stakes winner finished under two lengths back as an $18 outsider in betting.

Still, the bookies rated him no hope of scoring the upset at weight-for-age over the weekend and Pounamu jumped at $26 odds for the Kingston Town Classic.

It proved a lucrative price for anyone on him, Pounamu producing a blistering finish to charge home from 11th to first ahead of the Justin Warwick-trained Material Man ($31) who came off a Railway Stakes fifth and the Simon Miller-trained three-year-old Achernar Star ($8.50).

Gingerbread Man gelding Achernar Star backed-up off a Group 2 W.A. Guineas (1600m) second to Perfect Jewel, that Grant & Alana Williams-trained filly crossing one and a half-lengths back fourth in the Kingston Town Classic.

Carbery was thrilled to reward Mathews with a Group 1 victory having ridden for the horseman for over two decades.

“For 22-plus years, Alan has stuck solid with me, the only time I haven’t ridden winners for him is when I have been suspended, this is my way of paying him back,” Carbery told the media.

“To win a Group 1 for him is special.”

Mathews was expectedly over the moon with the Kingston Town Classic result, but admitted that Pounamu was likely now out-weighted out of a Group 2 $500,000 Perth Cup (2400m) win on New Year’s Day.

“He has just been a nice horse and a work in progress. He was doing it in glimpses,” the six-time Perth Cup winning trainer said.

“He has finally just got his head around what we want to do and had trouble-free run.

“We planned second-up into the Railway and third-up into this and it has all gone to plan.

“He probably can’t win a Perth Cup now because he will get too much weight but we are pretty happy with that.”

Pounamu has now won nine of his 37 career starts for $1.12 million in prize money.

About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the horseracing.com.au team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.

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