Only three mares have won the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) since the feature race was first run back in 1976 – Doodlakine Lass (1987), Credit Account (1993), and most recently St Clemens Belle (1999).
However a fourth could soon be added to that list, with both Elite Belle and Balmont Girl strong contenders in the $500,000 race. They defied history in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) last time out to beat the boys and land a quinella in a typically male orientated race so it isn’t unreasonable that either one could do it again in the 2014 Kingston Town Classic.
Bookies and punters alike believe the girls are in with a chance, both are on the third line of betting at Ladbrokes.com.au with odds of $7.50.
Balmont Girl’s trainer Paula Wagg is confident her mare has what it takes to become the fourth winner in 40 years considering she’s maintained her peak fitness from the Railway Stakes a fortnight ago and is stepping up to her preferred distance.
“She’s staying at her peak and I just have to hold her up,” Wagg told Perth Racing.
“She’s giving me all the signs she’s still spot-on.
“She’ll love the 1800. I think her pet distance is between 1800 and 2200.
“The way she can relax over longer distances is a huge benefit.
“She’s got the motor to finish off and we just need the luck.”
Balmont Girl impressively won the Group 3 WA Oaks (2400m) in March amongst a seven winning streak from eight starts. This campaign alone, she has finished third in the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m) as well as winning the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m).
The four-year-old mare has definitely got the form but a wide barrier draw may work against her. She drew barrier 16 on Tuesday but will come into gate 12 if none of the emergencies run. Luckily for her, she started from barrier 11 in the Railway Stakes and had no problem racing home to finish second.
“It’s not the worst barrier but it’s a bit wider than I wanted,” Wagg said.
“She gets back anyway but you don’t want to be three or four deep.”
Shaun O’Donnell has ridden Balmont Girl in 17 of her 19 career starts and will retain the ride once again. The hoop won the 2012 Kingston Town Classic with Luckygray, which is good news.
If you believe Balmont Girl can cause an upset over the boys for the second race in a row, make sure to back her at Ladbrokes.com.au today. New customers will receive a bonus match of up to $100 on their first bet.