Local Ascot-based trainer Paula Wagg expressed her annoyance at another outside barrier for her 2014 Kingston Town Classic hope Balmont Girl at last night’s draw.
Four-year-old Balmont mare Balmont Girl was on Tuesday announced as one of the confirmed starters in a capacity field for Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) in Perth.
Her lead-up form has been excellent as she’s not finished worse than fourth in the past 12 months.
A four and a half length winner of the Listed Natasha Stakes (2200m) from the outside barrier 16, before her victory over Real Love in the Group 3 W.A. Oaks (2400m) back in March, Balmont Girl also held her own against the boys last season when under two lengths away fourth to Respondent in the Group 2 W.A.T.C. Derby (2400m) on April 12 from barrier 10 of 11.
Following that she was spelled for six months before returning to the track on October 18 in the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m) when third behind Fuchsia Bandana.
Balmont Girl reentered the winners’ stall next start on November 1 defeating Black Heart Bart by three quarters of a length in the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) before her Group 1 debut in the Railway Stakes over a mile on November 22.
She relished a nice barrier three draw in the Asian Beau Stakes but then didn’t have the same luck with the gates for the $1 million Railway jumping from barrier 11 of 16.
Jockey Shaun O’Donnell did a good job from the gate that day, able to get Balmont Girl up in the finish running three quarters of a length off the Grant Williams-trained fellow mare Elite Belle who was drawn one on her outside in barrier 12.
For Saturday’s rematch in the Kingston Town Classic field Elite Belle, to be ridden by Peter Hall after William Pike jumped off to partner Disposition (barrier 17), has barrier 10 and could possibly jump from six with three of the four emergencies drawn inside the first four.
Balmont Girl on the other hand came up with barrier 16 that will likely be 12, which has produced just one Kingston Town Classic winner in the past 31 years.
“She never draws a barrier,” Wagg said after the draw.
Barrier 10 is the most successful in that time with five winners and with the emergencies out will belong this year to a stable mate of the Railway Stakes winner, Respondent who ran seventh in the lead-up Group 1 a fortnight ago.
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