Dan Morton is praying the form of his two 2014 C.B. Cox Stakes hopes for Saturday can improve when he saddles-up Red Blast and Strike The Stars from two wide alleys at Ascot Racecourse.
The locally-based Morton has two shots at the $250,000 Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) trophy this Perth Summer Racing Carnival with Red Blast the best fancied of his duo.
Drawn in barrier 11, one inside stable mate Strike The Stars who jumps from 12 in the 14-horse field with Paul Harvey replacing Ben Melham in the saddle, Morton’s Universal Prince gelding Red Blast sits at around $15 in the CB Cox Stakes odds.
CB Cox Stakes betting is led by the first two over the line in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) last month with Elite Belle (1st) and Balmont Girl (2nd) dominating the markets.
Five-year-old Red Blast, a Jerry Noske mount, meanwhile comes via a different lead-up into Saturday’s major.
Winner of the Listed Boulder Cup (2100m) in a strong staying display at Kalgoorlie back in September, the galloper also ran fourth in the Kalgoorlie Cup over 2300m six days later.
He returned to Ascot in November and was fifth to Pop Culture in the Listed Ascot Gold Cup (1800m) and fourth to Global Flirt in the Listed Tattersall’s Cup (2100m) last month.
His latest run was then on December 6 in the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2200m) when sixth behind 2015 Perth Cup favourite Real Love, a run he’s out to improve on to break his Ascot maiden at start number eight at the track.
Strike The Stars meanwhile is a six-year-old son of Savabeel who has had four unplaced runs at Ascot.
His lead-up form into the CB Cox Stakes leaves a lot to be desired too and as such he’s rated around $51 as a roughie shot in betting.
He has run 10th in his two most recent starts in the Tatt’s Cup and Queen’s Cup, the latest carrying 58.5kg and beaten six lengths.
Saturday’s weight-for-age race sees him go up half a kilo to 59kg, another factor pushing out his price to score a massive upset.
Other top Perth trainers dually represented in this year’s CB Cox Stakes field are Adam Durrant with Group 1 winner Mr Moet and Chester Road, and Neville Parnham saddling up RJ Peters Stakes winner Bass Strait and veteran stayer God Has Spoken who won this race back in 2011.
Our preferred online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au are due to open their Perth Saturday racing markets shortly so stay tuned.
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