Hall of Fame jockey Damien Oliver shoots for his second Kingston Town Classic winning ride this weekend in Perth and is confident he can get the job done with the inside alley to suit his mount and race favourite Magic Artist in the weight-for-age feature.
Andreas Wohler’s German galloper Magic Artist is topping the odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, home of Best Tote or SP + 20% for the feature race at Ascot Racecourse this Saturday, after coming up with barrier one in a field of 16 for the $1 million Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
Last Perth Summer Racing Carnival the Chris Waller-trained Moriarty got the job done in the Kingston Town Classic from the inside alley, a feat visiting Iffraaj stallion Magic Artist is currently paying $3.90 to repeat on the weekend.
The five-year-old has had two runs in Australia both at Flemington on successive Saturdays during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The first was behind fellow international Gailo Chop in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Derby Day before he dropped back to a mile for his run behind Turn Me Loose in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) on November 7.
He travels west for his latest run down under and up over 1800m is rated as the one to beat.
Oliver is the third jockey to jump aboard Magic Artist during his Australian campaign follow Brenton Avdulla and Blake Shinn.
He rode Sniper’s Bullet to victory in the 2009 Kingston Town Classic and is brimming with pre-race confidence for Saturday saying the versatility of his ride this year should see the favourite salute for the punters from a “good draw”.
“He’s the type of horse that can take advantage of that, particularly if the track races like it did last week when it was hard to make ground, you’d think it’d be a good draw for him,” the leading Victorian hoop told Racing Victoria.
“He was able to hold a reasonable position in the Mackinnon.
“The mile, they probably beat him a bit for speed, but the 1800m at Ascot should be ideal with him – especially with a month between runs.
“He’s had time to freshen up, he likes firm ground too, so he’s got a bit in his favour.”
As well as his own success in the Kingston Town Classic, Oliver’s Jason late brother also saluted in the 1991 edition aboard Old Role, adding even more meaning and emotion to a possible win again in 2015.
“It sure would [be special]. I think it’s the only Group 1 that we both have won,” he said.
“It’s a $1 million race now, so it’s high stakes. It would be a good one to win.”
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