Just two Eastern State raiders remain in the mix for the 2014 Kingston Town Classic on December 6 after a sizable contingent of interstate raiders travelled west for last weekend’s Railway Stakes Day in Perth.
Plenty of hype surrounded the runs of the visitors in the Group 1’s at Ascot Racecourse last Saturday but none were able to win.
There were five in the field for the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) including Robbie Griffiths’ smart mare Angelic Light who jumped favourite.
But neither she nor Peter Moody’s 2013 runner-up Moment Of Change were able to hold onto their front running positions by the finishing line when three WA-trained locals ran the trifecta in the sprint led by Magnifisio.
The best over the line in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) meanwhile was the Chris Waller-trained Moriarty who ran third to the now equal $6 favouirte through Ladbrokes.com.au in early Kingston Town Classic odds Elite Belle.
A seven-year-old son of Clodovil, Moriarty was only three quarters of a length off the winner in his Perth debut and will stay on for a shot at the $500,000 Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) now back at the track.
Winner of the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) in Sydney over Group 1 winning mare Rising Romance earlier this campaign, Moriarty is tipped to appreciate the extra meters in the Kingston Town and has shortened into equal favouritism with his last start conqueror to win at $6.
The other Eastern State visitor staying on after a ‘Super Saturday’ run for a possible shot at Group 1 glory is then the Wez Hunter-trained Smokin’ Joey.
Upset 40-1 winner of the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) back in May, the Encosta De Lago gelding ran fourth in the Railway Stakes still under a length off Elite Belle with Victorian jockey Ben Melham in the saddle.
Despite that brave run he’s only paying $21 in Kingston Town Classic betting, connections also looking at an easier run at the meeting in the $200,000 Group 3 AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m) where a drop down instead of a step up in distance would suit the seven-year-old better.
The Mornington-based Hunter however seems to be leaning towards the distance test in the Group 1 with Smokin’ Joey, Melham to travel back over the for the ride following a win in the Listed Placid Ark Stakes (1200m) aboard Liberty’s Gem last weekend.
“Moriarty and Smokin’ Joey are the only horses staying from Super Saturday,” Perth Racing‘s interstate relations manager Grant Burns said this week.
“Smokin’ Joey is entered for the Kingston Town but dropping back to 1400 could also be an option.”
For more of who is in and who is out of the Kingston Town Classic field this year stay tuned.
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