The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the final Group 1 race of the year, the $1 million weight-for-age Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot racecourse in Perth this Saturday. Black Heart Bart, who will be chasing his sixth Group 1 victory, is the current $3.40 TAB fixed odds favourite for the race, ahead of Godolphin import It's Somewhat at $4.60 and local mare Perfect Jewel at $6. Perennial bridesmaid Tom Melbourne is the only other runner under double figure odds at $8. The field is:
Godolphin colt Gaulois will be the lone visitor in a strong field of locals in tomorrow's Gr2 WA Guineas (1600m) at Ascot, reports Godolphin.com. A winner of 2 of his 8 starts to date, Gaulois brings some class to the $500,000 3YO feature after finishing within 2.6 lengths of the highly rated Levendi in the Gr3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last start. "That was the strongest field he's faced and he did really well from his outside gate to finish only two-and-a-half-lengths from the winner, who looks to be quite a good horse," said trainer James Cummings. "We went into that race knowing we had a colt with some class and he proved that he'll run a strong mile." Cummings added: "He's drawn wide again [barrier 17], but he's settled in nicely in Perth and we're satisfied that he's held his form." Gaulois is rated a $16 chance with TAB for the WA Guineas. The Karnup-trained Money Maher, a last-start impressive winner of the Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m), is currently favourite at $4.20.
At Ascot racecourse in Perth, Western Australia, Emirates Park Stud's & Aquis Farm's Gr1 Australian Guineas winning stallion Al Maher (Danehill-Show Dancing, by Don't Say Halo) added a black-type success when 3YO bay colt Money Maher (Al Maher-Treasury Notes, by Special Bond) claimed his maiden stakes victory when scoring a barnstorming win in the $100,000 Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m) for 3YOs colts & geldings, defeating Achernar Star & Reykjavik. A $58,000 purchase at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Bucklee farm, Money Maher improved his record to 3 wins and 3 placings (including the Gr3 WATC Sires Produce Stakes) from 9 starts for $136,800 in earnings.
At Ascot racecourse in Perth, Western Australia, Arrowfield Stud's Gr2-winning and Gr1-placed stallion Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock-Comical Smile, by Comic Strip) sired his first stakes winner when talented 2YO colt Debellatio scored an impressive win in the $200,000 Gr3 WA Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) for 2YOs, over 2YO filly Lucy Mae & fellow 3YO colt Money Maher. From the Gr2-winning Flying Spur mare Velasco, Debellatio was a $30,000 purchase by Chevaux Bloodstock at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale form the draft of Yarraman Park Stud. Debellatio improved his record to 2 wins and 2 placings (including the Gr2 WATC Karrakatta Plate) from 5 starts for $189,900 earnings.
Trainer Fred Kersley says smart juvenile Debellatio will embark on an eastern states campaign targeting the feature 3YO races in the spring. The comments come after the Smart Missile colt’s dominant victory in Saturday’s Gr3 WA Sires' Produce Stakes over 1400 metres. Debellatio rolled along easily in the lead and accelerated strongly in the straight to score by 2.5 lengths from the Gr2 Karrakatta Plate winner Lucy Mae, with Money Maher third. "He's an enormous raw talent, the most precocious colt that I've ever trained, with a great attitude to racing, very athletic and a pleasure to train,” Kersley said. "He will likely have a six week spell now, then should he measure up, we will head east to target the Group 1 colt races in the spring. He has an excellent economy of stride and although he is sharp, I think stepping up over ground he'll only get better.” Debellatio is the second stakes winner - after New Zealand-based filly Sassy 'N' Smart - for 2015/16 Champion First Season Sire Smart Missile, himself a gifted 2YO and conqueror of Sepoy & Foxwedge in the 2011 Gr2 ATC Todman Stakes. Smart Missile has been exceptionally well supported by breeders and buyers during the first stage of his stud career and his 41 yearlings sold at the 2017 Magic Millions and Inglis Easter Sales averaged more than five times his $20,000 fee. He is currently third on the Australian Second Season Sires' premiership with close to $2 million prize money and leads the table by winners, with a total of 42.