Local trainer Darren McAuliffe is set to deliver a dual-pronged attack on the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) this Saturday but looking at the odds alone it hasn’t made him any luckier.
Fuchsia Bandana is offering $21 in the Kingston Town Classic betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au while Rebelson is out wide at $51.
Even so, the trainer is hopeful his two runners can defy the race when they line up at Ascot to contest the $500,000 feature race.
Fuchsia Bandana has a better chance at delivering McAuliffe a win; the mare has good recent form and has drawn well in barrier six carrying just 56.5kg. The four-year-old was runner up in the Listed Birthday Stakes (1200m) first up in October before winning the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m) two weeks later ahead of Kingston Town Classic rival Balmont Girl ($7.50).
The mare scored another second placing in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) on November 8 before a fast finishing fifth in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m), missing out on the win by just 1¼ lengths.
Following a successful bit of track work on Tuesday morning, McAuliffe is confident Fuchsia Bandana has only improved since her Railway Stakes run.
“She has definitely improved, and the times and sectionals from her gallops this morning proved that,” McAuliffe told Perth Racing.
“The barrier is going to be a real plus, and she will be positive whether she leads or takes up a position, that will remain to be seen on what a few of the other runners do.
“She will be in the first four in the run, and she will give a good sight.”
The trainer is more concerned about Rebelson, who drew wide in barrier 19 (into 15 if the emergencies don’t run). The gelding will carry the top weight of 59kg, which he hasn’t carried since a Benchmark 72 back in October.
Rebelson won the Listed Northam Cup (1600m) on October 26 at just 55kg before finishing runner-up in the Listed Ascot Gold Cup (1800m). He was last seen running a solid fifth in the Listed Tattersall’s Cup (2100m), just 1¼ lengths off winner Global Flirt.
“Having a look at the draw, it’s probably not too bad. He will go forward anyway from that gate, and it’s the only way to ride him,” McAuliffe said.
“A couple of the top-weights Moriarty and horses like that that may not necessarily be right up on the speed have drawn inside, so we are probably a fair chance of getting across.”
McAuliffe also has second emergency Express Service ($101) to potentially saddle in the 2014 Kingston Town Classic, though the gelding will most likely run in the Group 3 AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m) instead.
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