It is shaping-up as a huge year for Benjamin...
This weekend in Perth two Group 3 features highlight the Ascot Racecourse card including the WA Champion Fillies Stakes 2015 where the Fred Kersley-trained Blackwood is tipped as the one to beat.
The ultra-consistent daughter of Blackfriars has won five of her six career starts including two from three at Ascot where on Saturday she faces off against seven other three-year-old fillies in the $200,000 Group 3 W.A. Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m).
Jumping from barrier three with Lucy Warwick booked for the ride, Blackwood comes off a second-up win by one and a half lengths at the track from October 31 in the Listed Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m).
She has winning form over a mile from the winter by four lengths at Belmont and all going well could back-up Saturday week up against the boys in the $500,000 Group 2 W.A. Guineas (1600m).
For Saturday’s race against her own kind Blackwood is the firming $2.20 favourite backed in from $2.25 and looks hard to beat again with the ability to adapt to whatever run she finds herself in.
The close second favourite at $2.60 is the undefeated Perfect Reflection, a three-time winner from as many starts from the Karnup stables of Grant Williams.
The More Than Ready filly was last seen winning the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m) where Blackwood suffered her only lost to date running third.
Perth’s premier hoop William Pike retains the ride on Perfect Refection on Saturday where she is drawn the outside barrier eight trying to keep her perfect record intact.
The only other single figure hope in the WA Champion Fillies Stakes markets at $5.50 is one of Williams’ three other runners Arcadia Dream jumping from barrier four with Joseph Azzopardi in the saddle.
The Domesday filly has won two of her four runs so far but is yet to salute at Ascot, her two previous runs at the course producing a second in the Belgravia Stakes and third in the Burgess Queen so she faces her two last start conquers this weekend.
So can the favourites get the job done or is there another Perth upset on the agenda in this weekend’s feature?
#2 Perfect Reflection ($2.60)
Think the bookies have the right two at the top of betting, but going for the upset with Perfect Reflection to retain her undefeated status. She has beaten Saturday’s favourite home at the track before when winning the Belgravia Stakes last time out and can do it again with the right run. She gives away fitness to Blackwood though he has had a run and win in between, but still think Williams’ filly can bounce back from the minor setback that saw her miss the lead-up race so long as Williams has her right.
#1 Blackwood ($2.20)
Definitely the one to beat based on the good win second-up in the Burgess Queen Stakes and she is proven over a mile so the distance this weekend is a non-issue. She’s got the fitness and the good barrier three draw and only has to hold off Perfect Reflection, the only rival in the race to beat her home previously, to win by a sizeable margin.
#6 Impassioned ($10)
Williams has four in the line-up and this daughter of Redoute’s Choice has credible claims at double figures after a solid 1500m win at the track last start on Melbourne Cup Day. She’s on the improve, is two-from-three in her career and steps up to black-type company for the first time here and gets the chance to show what she’s made of against the best of her kind.
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