After success aboard Chris Waller’s Sydney raider Moriarty last year the Hong Kong-based Douglas Whyte will shoot for back-to-back Kingston Town Classic wins this weekend aboard the Grant Williams-trained Neverland.
Last Perth Summer Racing Carnival Whyte jumped aboard Moriarty (2014) for the first time in the $1 million Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot Racecourse for the win.
On Saturday he is looking to emulate Steven Parnham, aboard Playing God for his wins in 2010 and 2011, and ride successive Kingston Town Classic champions having secured the ride on Big Brown mare Neverland.
Looking to become the first mare to beat home the boys in the weight-for-age feature since St. Clemens Belle (1999), Neverland is prepared by Karnup horseman Williams who has saddled-up 13 previous starters in the race for two seconds and a third.
Current all-in Kingston Town Classic odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by German raider Magic Artist ($3.60) who ran fourth to Gailo Chop in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) and fourth again to Turn Me Loose last start on November 7 at Flemington in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
Neverland is just outside the five single figure hopes in Kingston Town Classic betting at $11 to secure her sixth win from eight starts at the track.
She is undefeated this time in with three wins from as many runs dating back to October 24, all at Ascot where she returns this weekend rising notably in classic.
Her latest run was on November 21 in the Listed Carbine Club of WA Stakes (1400m) where Perth’s premier hoop William Pike rode her to a one length victory over Sireeze.
Pike has been aboard the mare for all eight of her career runs to date including her six victories and her second to Delicacy in the Listed 1000 Guineas (1800m) over the same track and distance as the Kingston Town back in late February.
He however jumps off for this weekend’s major in favour of a ride on undefeated stablemate Perfect Reflection ($5), Whyte coming in as his replacement aboard the Bob and Sandra Peters-owned mare.
The Peters have enjoyed three previous Kingston Town Classic victories with Old Nick (1998) and Old Comrade (2000-01) and were narrowly denied a fourth with Disposition ran second last year.
Neverland is one of four in the mix for them this year, Bob Peters hoping she can handle the step up in class.
“This is a big jump in class for her,” Peters told The West Australian.
“I put it down to us having a throw at the stumps with her.”
The booking of Whyte to ride Neverland upset fellow jockey Chris Parnham, his racing manager Dale Verhagen believing he was first in line for the ride.
“For three weeks Chris thought he had the ride on Neverland and it is frustrating for him now to probably miss out on a ride,” Verhagen said.
Stay tuned to view the full 2015 Kingston Town Classic field and jockeys on Wednesday, enjoying access to the best futures odds on the race before then online at Ladbrokes.com.au!