A nice Ascot win from Pop Culture on Wednesday has boosted the Perth Cup 2014 prospects for Colin Webster’s honest mare.
The five-year-old daughter of Blackfriars caught the eye when beating home a decent field including last start GA Towton Cup winner Knightlike (2nd) for her $60,000 A.T.A. Handicap (2200m) win at the midweek meet.
It was the ideal lead-up from the mare that broke a 12 month winning drought with the performance.
Her latest win before the A.T.A. Handicap, where she improved on a Towton Cup sixth, was in the Listed WA St Leger (2100m) back in December last year.
Winner of the 2012 WA Oaks over the mile and a half as a three-year-old, Pop Culture backed up for the St Leger this summer gone to run a brave fourth behind Talent Show in the $500,000 Group 2 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) from the outside gate.
She’s on track for another shot at the New Year’s Day staying classic then with the Perth Cup 2014 next on the agenda after her gutsy long neck win at the same track this week.
In this year’s Perth Cup Pop Culture carried just 53kg, the Graeme Ballantyne-trained winner Talent Show only 53.5kg.
For the ATA Handicap yesterday however she handled 57.5kg proving she’d improved over the year, half of which she spent on the sidelines.
Pop Culture is expected to get in on the 53kg minimum for the Perth Cup again this summer however, another reason Webster is looking forward to the January 1 showdown.
“I’m quite sure Pop Culture can improve just a little more and hopefully she’ll be at her top for the big day,” Webster told The West Australian.
He’s also confident that the step up to the mile and a half will suit.
“The 2400 is really going to suit her,” he said.
“She’s a great mare. She’s a real stable favourite.”
Webster was pleased with the ATA Handicap ride from jockey Troy Turner who reunited with the mare after a three start hiatus.
“He made his move at the right time because she’s a dour stayer,” Webster said after Turner settled Pop Culture in fifth on Wednesday before going for the lead at the top of the home straight.
Turner will stay on for the Perth Cup ride then vying for his first win in the classic.
“She’s hit form at the right time,” Turner said.
Futures Perth Cup betting is already open at our preferred online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au with Rohan ($4.60) the early favourite.
Third last start behind Ihtsahymn (1st) and Luckygray (2nd) in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m), the Vaugn Sigley-trained Rohan gets the chance to turn the tables on those two when they take them on again this Saturday in the $225,000 Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m).
Pop Culture meanwhile can be found a little further down the Perth Cup betting markets at a quote of $13.
To get in on the pre-field Perth Cup odds head over to Ladbrokes.com.au where you’ll also be rewarded with a bonus welcome bet valued up to $250 when you first sign-up and deposit.