Last start Dayana Plate winner Operational will be out for their second straight win at WA’s Belmont Park this weekend when the Fred Kersley-trained three-year-old runs in the 2012 Belmont Classic.
The Tiger Hill three-year-old easily got the better of a similar field of rivals on July 7 when winning the $50,000 Dayana Plate (2000m) by two and a half lengths over their stablemate Confianza.
On Saturday they return to the track, their Dayana Plate winning jockey Paul Harvey retaining the ride, looking for their first black type victory in the $80,000 Listed Belmont Classic (2200m).
Drawn in barrier 10 of 12 Operational steps up to the 2200-metres for the first time in the Belmont Classic which will be just their ninth career start.
Other notable hopefuls in the Belmont Classic this year include the horses that finished two-three-four respectively behind Operational in the Dayana Plate with the fellow Kersley-trained Confianza, budding stayer Shoot For Glory and Redoutable gelding Wonorg; and Phil Humann’s star Supranto filly Rantorini coming off a good win in the Listed Belmont Oaks (2000m).
It is shaping up as an intriguing Classic based on the lead-up form.
On Belmont Oaks Day Operational clocked 2:05.53 to win the Dayana, which was 1:45 seconds faster than Mr Moet in the weight-for-age Strickland Stakes (2000m), but 3.73 seconds slower than Rantorini’s winning time in the Oaks.
Kersley knows that without an obvious pacemaker on Saturday Operational may have a tough time but he is remaining hopeful.
“I don’t see what is going to make the pace on Saturday,” Kersley said.
“Rantorini is the class filly and I thought Confianza was a good run in the Dayana.”
The 2012 Belmont Classic is due to run as Belmont Race 6 on Saturday at 3:20pm and betting on the feature is due to open at the country’s number one online bookie bookmaker.com.au shortly.
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