After winning Perth’s richest race, the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) on protest over the weekend, Gino Poletti’s emerging star Luckygray has shot to the top of the odds for next month’s Kingston Town Classic 2011.
Bradbury’s Luck four-year-old Luckygray was second over the line behind Roger James’ Kiwi visitor He’s Remarkable in the Railway Stakes on Saturday, but after jockey Shaun O’Donnell lodged and won a protest, the top two placings were officially reversed and Luckygray emerged with the winner’s title and first prize.
The result, just the second time in the races’ 114-year history that the Railway was won on protest, boosted Luckygray’s already impressive record to seven wins from nine starts and skyrocketed their total career earnings to over $876,000.
Luckygray, purchased for a steal at $47,000 from the 2009 Magic Millions Perth Sale, is now the punters’ pick to become a dual elite level champion at just their 10th start in the $500,000 Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) back at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday December 3, which will be the progressive grey’s first look at a distance greater than a mile.
A decision on whether Luckygray will indeed press onto the 2011 Kingston Town Classic is expected to be confirmed by connections within the next two days depending on how the horse pulls through their gutsy run on Saturday.
“He’s pulled up pretty good apart from a few cuts,” Poletti said on Sunday.
“He’s had a gut-busting run and I dare say he is going to feel the effects later today and tomorrow.
“He’ll go for a trot up tomorrow (Monday) and we’ll have a good look at him over the next few days and see whether he goes in (to the Kingston Town Classic) or out (to the paddock).”
The bookmakers aren’t waiting for confirmation, however, with our preferred Luxbet having already slashed their price on Luckygray to win the Kingston Town Classic in from $5.50 to $2.80.
If accepted Luckygray will be out to become just the sixth horse in history to claim the Railway Stakes – Kingston Town Classic double in the same year joining Better Loosen Up (1989), Island Morn (1994), Old Comrade (2001), Modem (2004) and most recently the Tracey Bartley-trained Sniper’s Bullet in 2009.
Following Luckygray in the Kingston Town Classic betting markets at Luxbet is beaten Railway Stakes favourite Ranger at $4.60, Grant Williams’ Testa Rossa gelding having finished six lengths away sixth in their lead-up run.
He’s Remarkable follows at a quote of $6 along with the weekend’s impressive WA Guineas winner King Saul who is out to emulate the Neville Parnham-trained Playing God who claimed the WA Guineas – Kingston Town Classic 12 months ago.
For the WA Guineas King Saul was ridden by ace hoop Craig Williams.
With Williams off to ride in Japan for the next six weeks, however, a replacement rider for King Saul is yet to be confirmed as their regular jockey Shaun O’Donnell will ride Luckygray should they run.
The next best-backed Kingston Town Classic nominees are then the Mark Reed-trained Coolgardie Cup – Kaloorlie Cup winner Kincaple ($10) who ran seventh in the Railway Stakes, defending champion Playing God ($12) who finished a disappointing 14th in the Railway and Waratah’s Secret at $16.
Lark Hill-based horseman David Harrison, however, has confirmed that Railway Stakes fourth placegetter Waratah’s Secret will not be accepted for the Kingston Town Classic field and will instead defend their title in the Group 3 A.J. Scahill Stakes (1400m) at the same meeting.
See below for the latest 2011 Kingston Town Classic futures odds available at Luxbet.
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2011 Kingston Town Classic Odds