Trainer Paula Wagg has a decision to make before Saturday’s CB Cox Stakes Day meeting at Ascot after dually accepting for her in-form mare Balmont Girl in the day’s feature race as well as the WA St Leger 2014 field.
The four-year-old daughter of Balmont is in the mix for both the $250,000 Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) as well as the lower key staying feature of the day, the $100,000 Listed Perth Ice Works W.A. St. Leger (2100m).
Winner of the Group 3 W.A. Oaks (2400m) over the mile and a half back in March before a brave fourth to Respondent in the Group 2 WATC Derby (2400m) a fortnight later, Balmont Girl has been racing well again this time in.
She won the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) second-up before her second to Elite Belle, also in the CB Cox Stakes mix on Saturday, in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m).
Her latest run on December 6 however was somewhat disappointing when beaten over five lengths to run 10th behind Moriarty in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
She’s up in distance again on Saturday then but whether that run will be in Group 2 or just Listed company is up to Wagg who will decide whether the CB Cox Stakes favourite gets the chance to take on Elite Belle again.
Leading the WA St Leger field with the inside alley (one) and the number one saddle cloth is WATC Derby winner Respondent for Grant Williams.
The four-year-old Haradasun gelding hasn’t won a race since the Derby when racing well as a three-year-old, and was disappointing in both the Railway Stakes (seventh) and Kingston Town Classic (13th) over the past month.
He gets the chance to atone on Saturday then and prove better than his lead-up form when back up in distance for the St. Leger.
Dually represented in this year’s WA St. Leger field meanwhile is trainer Adam Durrant who has accepted for two classy mares in Petite Mon and 2015 Perth Cup favourite Real Love drawn in barriers seven and three respectively.
Blackfriars four-year-old Petite Mon coms off a win at Bunbury over 2019m from December 12 while ace stable mate Real Love also won her lead-up run with the daughter of Desert King having beaten Son Of Something home by two and a quarter lengths in the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2200m) a fortnight ago.
She’s firing on all cylinders ahead of her major Perth Summer Racing Carnival aim in the $500,000 Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) on New Year’s Day, which is the traditional progression for St. Leger runners during the festival.
Also coming off a win is the Shane Quilty-trained He’s A Decoy mare Dabang to be ridden by apprentice Lucy Warwick after an 1820m triumph at the track form December 10.
See below for the full WA St Leger 2014 field, barriers and jockeys.
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2014 WA St Leger Final Field & Barrier Draw
Ascot Race 2 (1:47pm local) – 20/12/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.|
|1||1131×43270||RESPONDENT||Grant Williams||Brad Parnham||1||58kg|
|2||69×4111352||VITAL EDITION||Ben Pearce||Peter Hall||2||58kg|
|3||2×0174||DEVOTTO||Raymond Vincent||Ryan Hill||4||58kg|
|4||14114×3120||BALMONT GIRL||Paula Wagg||Shaun O’Donnell||6||56kg|
|5||16323×2121||REAL LOVE||Adam Durrant||William Pike||3||56kg|
|6||x2475x3251||DABANG||Shane Quilty||Ms Lucy Warwick (a)||5||56kg|
|7||x673335281||PETITE MON||Adam Durrant||Joseph Azzopardi (a)||7||56kg|