A smart field of fillies and mares are set to line-up in the Starstruck Classic 2014 at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday and below are the Races.com.au team’s insider tips on the handicap showdown.
One of four black-type features on the C.B. Cox Stakes Day program this weekend in Perth, the $100,000 Listed Starstruck Classic (1600m) has drawn 12 final acceptors led by the Adam Durrant-trained Real Charm.
A William Pike mount drawn in barrier six, the Rest mare comes off back-to-back wins at the track and steps up to a mile for the first time here.
She won over 1500m on November 29 before backing up the following Saturday handling the week turnaround and step up in class without issue to win the Listed Jungle Dawn Classic (1400m) a fortnight ago.
That form sees her lead the Starstruck Classic odds through Ladbrokes.com.au at a quote of $2.50.
Her main dangers according to the bookies are Simon Miller’s Jungle Dawn third placegetter Miss Rose De Lago ($4.60), recent Jungle Mist winner Antique Belle ($5.50) and Need A Lift ($6) drawn well in barrier two.
So will the favourite salute for the punters in Ascot Race 6 or is there an upset Starstruck Classic result on the cards from a double figure hope in the race like last start Bunbury winner Resonates ($19)?
#3 Real Charm ($2.50)
She’s short in the markets and deservedly so based on her ideal lead-up form. Shoots for win number three here as she’s stretched out over a miler for the first time, a distance she should be able to run home first over after a good effort in the Listed Jungle Dawn Classic (1400m) on December 6. Had a wide barrier 12 draw and 55kg that day. Is drawn better this time (six) but needs to handle two kilos more. Think the class and the Pike factor will help her to do that for a narrow victory.
#4 Need A Lift ($6)
Tipping the same quinella as the Jungle Dawn with Paige Kenney’s always-honest Passenger five-year-old finishing off well behind Real Charm that day crossing only a quarter length off the winner in second. Had gate 11 there and moves into two for the rematch, plus only gets half a kilo more with 55.5kg so has the weight advantage over her last start conqueror.
#2 Antique Belle ($5.50)
Lots to like about this Grant Williams-trained Redoute’s Choice mare in barrier three. She won the Jungle Mist over 1200m two back and was third behind Watermans Bay and Group 1 winner Magnifisio in the Group 3 AJ Scahill (1400m) on December 6. She’s down in class back against her own type here, which she’ll appreciate, but does go up to a mile. She has had three runs over the 1600m for just the one third so needs to handle those extra metres.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change