A 15-horse field of hopeful horses has been released for the 2011 Kingston Town Classic at Perth’s Ascot Racecourse this Saturday, Karnup-based horseman Grant Williams preparing to unleash a four-pronged assault on the middle-distance feature.
The $500,000 Group 1 GR Engineering Kingston Town Classic (1800m) brings an end to Group 1 racing in Australia for another calendar year, Williams keen to take out the race with one of his four acceptors.
Williams is set to be represented in the Kingston Town Classic field this year by 2010 Perth Cup winner Lords Ransom, fellow veteran eight-year-old Battle Emblem, Tranquility and Ranger.
Of the quartet it is his Testa Rossa five-year-old Ranger who is the best fancied, the galloper currently second-favourite in the Kingston Town Classic odds at Luxbet behind upset Railway Stakes winner Luckygray.
Winner of the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) two starts back, Ranger was last seen finishing six lengths away sixth in the Railway Stakes, but all reports are for them to be more competitive over the 1800 metres.
Ranger ran fourth to the Neville Parnham-trained Playing God in last year’s Kingston Town, the defending champ also accepted into this year’s field, and will be out to turn the tables 12 months later.
Although confident Ranger had fully recovered from a rough and tumble running of the Railway, Ranger’s owner Bob Peters was quick to name Luckygray as the horse to beat again this weekend.
“He’s done well,” Peters said of Ranger.
“Every race is different and we are hoping for better luck.
“But Luckygray does look hard to beat.”
The other major contender for Williams on Saturday is Tranquility.
A nicely-bred five-year-old Redoute’s Choice mare, Tranquility was last seen running fifth in the Railway Stakes.
She has been in excellent form all season having also run third to Luckygray in the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1500m) in October, and defeated a mere nose by subsequent Railway Stakes third placegetter Westriver Kevydonn in the Group 3 R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m) on November 12.
Tranquility is due to be ridden by Paul Harvey in the Kingston Town Classic for the first time under race conditions, Harvey having partnered with her for two barrier trials.
If successful aboard Tranquility on Saturday, it will be the third Kingston Town Classic success Harvey has won for Peters, the owner-jockey combo having taken out the feature in 2000 and 2011 with Old Comrade.
Harvey himself has won a total of four Kingston Towns over the past decade also saluting aboard Modem in 2004 and most recently with Megatic in 2007.
Other notable players in the Kingston Town Classic field and betting markets include WA Guineas winner King Saul to be ridden by ace Sydney jockey Glyn Schofield, the Mark Reed-trained Coolgardie Cup – Kalgoorlie Cup winner Kincaple, soon-to-be-retired Melbourne mare Avienus and David Hayes’ Victorian raider Spacecraft.
Updated Kingston Town Classic markets following the final field release are due out at our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet shortly.
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2011 Kingston Town Classic Final Field
|1||HADABECLORKA||Brent Larsson||Glenn Smith||59||107|
|2||LORDS RANSOM||Grant Williams||–||59||105|
|3||WOLFE DREAMS||Steve Wolfe||Peter Hall||59||93|
|4||BATTLE EMBLEM||Grant Williams||Kyra Yuill (a0)||59||99|
|5||MEGA STEEL||Bruce McClune||Jarrad Noske||59||98|
|7||SPACECRAFT||David Hayes||Peter Knuckey||59||101|
|8||KINCAPLE (NZ)||Mark B. Reed||–||59||99|
|9||BIG TED||Ivan Haggerty||–||59||91|
|10||PLAYING GOD||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||58.5||112|
|11||LUCKYGRAY||Gino Poletti||Shaun O’Donnell||58.5||112|
|12||AVIENUS||Mark Webb||Brad Rawiller||57||103|
|13||TRANQUILITY||Grant Williams||Paul Harvey||57||92|
|15||KING SAUL||Trevor Andrews||Glyn Schofield||52||84|