Adam Durrant’s returning Perth Cup winning mare Real Love has opened short priced favourites to secure her maiden first-up win when she runs in WA’s sole Group race this Saturday the Asian Beau Stakes 2015.
Due to run as Ascot Race 6 at 3:57pm (WA time) on Saturday, this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Seacorp Starlight Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) field features eight handicap hopefuls led by five-year-old Desert King mare Real Love.
To date she has had three first-up runs for two seconds and on the weekend she jumps from barrier four with William Pike, who enjoyed a stellar day at Ascot last Saturday winning five winners from six rides, in the saddle.
Pike has a strong association with Real Love including guiding her to victory in her hat-trick of summer wins last December – January with success in the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2200m), the Listed WA St Leger (2100m) and most famously the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m).
Real Love earned a trip across to Victoria for an autumn bid with that stunning string of wins but failed to finish in the money when 11th in the CF Orr Stakes and eighth in the Peter Young Stakes respectively at Caulfield in February.
She races for the first time since on the back of a winning 1450m Lark Hill trial from October 12 and with a gun record at the track (10-4-3-2) she is the clear $2.60 favourite in the Asian Beau Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Best Tote or SP + 20% for the Flemington races for Derby Day on Saturday in Melbourne.
Real Love is gearing up for another run in the 2016 Perth Cup, held on January 2 early next year, and if successful will be the first back-to-back winner since Magistrate (1981-82).
Durrant meanwhile is gearing up for a massive Saturday this weekend also saddling up his undefeated three-year-old Kia Ora Koutou as the second pick to win Melbourne’s $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington.
Back in Perth, Real Love will face four other single figure hopes in the Asian Beau Stakes including $4.80 second pick My Sister Lil prepared by Bunbury’s Ross Price.
The five-year-old Snitzel mare was last seen running fifth to Black Heart Bart in the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1420m) on October 21 but is yet to finish in the money from her four previous starts over Saturday’s distance.
Following closing in Asian Beau Stakes betting are Hazzabeel ($5) and Dawn Approach ($5.50) at opposite ends of the weight scale carrying the 54kg minimum and equal 58.5kg top weight respectively.
The Daniel Morton-trained Zabeel five-year-old Hazzabeel comes off a sixth in the Northerly Stakes and chases his first win at Ascot coming into the race with a strong two-from-three record over the 1400m.
Dawn Approach is three runs in this campaign, Vaughn Sigley’s ultra-consistent Statue Of Liberty gelding carrying the same weight he did when beaten in a massive upset by Akhedasset in last Saturday’s Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m).
That followed on from a first-up third in the Listed Birthday Stakes (1200m) at Belmont and he shoos for a sixth win at start number 17 at Ascot.
The last of the hopes under $10 for the win is then Balmont Girl ($8) in gate two, Shaun O’Donnell continuing his association with the Paula Wagg-trained local Balmont mare who is second-up after a fourth in the Northerly.
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