After the release of nominations and barriers for the Placid Ark Stakes 2011 yesterday, the latest black-type feature to run at Ascot as part of the Festival of Perth Racing, the official final field of acceptances has now been confirmed.
Scheduled to run as Ascot Race 4 at 2:25pm (local time) on Saturday, the $80,000 Listed Placid Ark Stakes (1200m) has drawn a field of eight three-year-olds this year.
Likely Luxbet favourite when Placid Ark Stakes odds are released is the Simon Miller-trained General Nediym filly Night War.
Seeking her fourth career win from six starts, and her second this season following an authoritative two and a half length victory in the Westspeed 3YO Handicap (1000m) first-up at Ascot on November 12, Night War boosted her favouritism drawing to perfection in barrier four.
Equal 57kg topweight of the Placid Ark Stakes field this year along with Night War is the David Harrison-trained Western Fever.
Drawn one outside the favourite in gate five, the Flying Pegasus filly has been disappointing as a three-year-old.
Winner of the Perth Magic Millions 2YO Classic back in February, Western Fever went on to finish second in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (100m) to Flying Affair as a two-year-old and was far from disgraced with eighth, beaten only two lengths, by Night War in the Group 2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m) on March 19.
This season she has been out of form, however, finishing ninth first-up at Belmont Park over 1000 metres on September 10 before her last-start sixth to Classic Emblem in an 1100 metre handicap at Ascot on November 9.
Gimcrack Stakes winner, the Lindsey Smith-trained Flying Affair is also running in the Placid Ark Stakes this Saturday.
An ultra-consistent daughter of Heritage, Flying Affair has won three of her eight starts to date and comes off a brave second to last Saturday’s WA Guineas winner King Saul in the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on October 15.
King Saul is preparing for their maiden Group 1 assignment in Saturday week’s 2011 Kingston Town Classic, the smart three-year-old currently the third favourite at a quote of $4.20 through Luxbet trailing only Railway Stakes winner Luckygray ($3.50) and Ranger ($3.90).
Flying Affair, however, has plenty of work to do on Saturday if she is to get the better of Night War after drawing barrier eight of eight.
Another promising Placid Ark Stakes contender coming off good form is Jason Pateman’s Saxon gelding Gracetown, to be ridden by champion local hoop William Pike from the inside alley.
Gracetown has finished second in their two first-up runs for the season, most recently crossing runner-up to Night War in the Westspeed 3YO Handicap.
See below for the complete Placid Ark Stakes field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
2011 Placid Ark Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Ascot Race 4 – 26/11/2011
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight|
|1||1X251X1||NIGHT WAR||Simon A Miller||Patrick Carbery||4||57kg|
|2||931128X9X6||WESTERN FEVER||David Harrison||Peter Knuckey||5||57kg|
|3||41X22||GRACETOWN||Jason Pateman||William Pike||1||56kg|
|4||23X7316||SUCCESS PARK||Vince Cavallaro||Shaun O’Donnell||3||56kg|
|5||115X4||WATERMANS BAY||Peter Giadresco||Troy Turner||6||56kg|
|6||117X2124X2||FLYING AFFAIR||Lindsey Smith||Paul Harvey||8||55kg|
|7||6162||VENETIAN PRINCE||Trevor Andrews||Jarrad Noske||2||55kg|
|8||1975945X64||IN EDEN’S HONOUR||Jeremy Easthope||Marco Chui||7||53kg|