Perth Racing has released the nominations for the crack eight-race program running at Ascot Racecourse this Saturday, the day headlined by two Group events one of which is the R.J. Peters Stakes 2011.
A popular handicap feature contested by gallopers heading towards upcoming Festival of Perth Racing showdowns including the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) on November 19 and the $500,000 Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on December 3, the 2011 R.J. Peters Stakes originally attracted 12 nominations.
There are now 11 hopefuls still heading towards this year’s edition of the $125,000 Group 3 R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m), however, following the early withdrawal of the Brett Lewis-trained Kens Double.
Twelve months ago the RJ Peters Stakes was won by Neville Parnham’s God Has Spoken who beat home the Grant Williams-trained Ranger.
This year Parnham will look to go back-to-back having entered two from his stables in Playing God and veteran nine-year-old Tarzi.
Group 1 winning Blackfriars stallion Playing God is likely to start at the top of the RJ Peters Stakes odds at Luxbet, the four-year-old tipped to return to form getting back to their home track after their disappointing 11th in the Cox Plate on October 22.
Playing God is already the equal $5.50 favourite with Luckygray and Ranger to take out the Railway Stakes Saturday week through Luxbet, and is also the $3.60 top elect to successfully defend their Kingston Town Classic title in December.
Williams is also set to be represented in the RJ Peters Stakes field again this year with his in-form Redoute’s Choice mare Tranquility, the five-year-old last seen running third to Luckygray in the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) on October 29.
Topweight of the RJ Peters Stakes nominations is the Fred Kersley-trained Scenic six-year-old Grand Nirvana who is allocated a hefty 62.5kg.
One of WA’s most consistent and impressive campaigners, all nine of Grand Nirvana’s career wins have been at Listed or Group level.
They come off two close second place finishes this season, first to Waratah’s Secret in the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) and then to Ranger in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m).
The only query, however, is the 62.5kg which is 2.5kg more than they have ever had on their back before under race conditions.
Playing God follows in the RJ Peters Stakes weights on 62kg, and despite the big weight Parnham is leaning towards accepting them for Saturday.
“If he looks like he needs a run heading into the Railway he’ll start,” Parnham said of Playing God who will have a track gallop at Ascot on Wednesday.
“That was the reason for nominating him.
“He had an easy week after the Cox Plate so we’ll get a handle on whether he needs a run or not in the morning.
“He’s a chance to start.”
Other notable RJ Peters Stakes entries for 2011 include the George Daly-trained Xaaravid, Ivan Haggerty’s Verglas seve-year-old Grey Monarch last seen finishing fourth in the Asian Beau Stakes and the Michael Lane-trained Keytomoney.
The other headline Ascot race this Saturday will be the $200,000 Group 3 W.A. Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) which has drawn 19 nominees.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au to view the RJ Peters Stakes and WA Champion Fillies Stakes fields and betting previews later in the week.
In the meantime our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet already have generous futures odds open on the upcoming Group 1 Perth Summer Racing Carnival features, making now the perfect time to sign up with Luxbet and enjoy a bonus bet valued up to $400 by depositing and quoting the code BONUSBET!
2011 RJ Peters Stakes Nominations & Weights
|1||GRAND NIRVANA||Fred Kersley||62.5kg||113|
|2||PLAYING GOD||Neville Parnham||62kg||112|
|5||DINO MAK||Wally Mitchell||53kg||75|
|6||GREY MONARCH||Ivan Haggerty||53kg||92|
|7||KENS DOUBLE||Brett Lewis||53kg||84|
|9||RAFFERTY||Ross & Clint Price||53kg||78|
|12||WESTRIVER KEVYDONN||Paige Kenney||53kg||78|