The opening Kingston Town Classic Day race at Ascot this weekend sees the three-year-old stayers face off in the Aquanita Stakes 2015 that has attracted a final field of just seven runners.
Set to kick things off in the latest Perth Summer Racing Carnival meeting at 12:29pm (WA time), this year’s $100,000 Listed Ascend Sales Trophies Aquanita Stakes (1800m) markets at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by odds-on favourite Arcadia Dream ($1.45).
Jumping from barrier three with the state’s best William Pike in the saddle, Grant Williams’ Domesday filly is out to atone for her 10th when outclassed by the boys in the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) last start on November 21.
She gets two weeks between runs as she drops back in class this weekend and was a brave second the run before behind one of Saturday’s top hopes in the $1 million Group 1 “(1800m), stablemate Perfect Reflection, in the Group 3 WA Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m).
Twice more placed in black-type company in October, Arcadia Dream is tipped to enjoy her first look at 1800m as she looks to break her maiden status at Ascot in her fifth run at the track.
She is joined by two other single figure hopes in Aquanita Stakes betting with Fremond and Battle Torque both paying $7 for an upset drawn in barriers six and one respectively.
Neville Parnham prepares Not A Single Doubt gelding Fremond who was 12th in the WA Guineas two back before success over 1400m last Saturday.
He runs on his third straight Saturday this weekend back up in black type company and also sees the distance for the first time, but drops back from 58kg to 56.5kg under the set weights plus penalties conditions.
On the rails with Group 1 winning hoop Peter Hall aboard, the Adam Durrant-trained Battle Torque is in flying form chasing his third consecutive win.
The Passenger gelding’s latest turf triumph was over 1500m at Ascot on November 25 in his maiden run at the track he returns to on Saturday for his black-type debut.
So will the top three in the markets be the first three over the line in Ascot Race 1 or is the value in an upset from the likes of Parnham’s other runner George ‘N’ Ernie ($10) who was 11th in the WA Guineas or Saxophonist ($11) for Fred Kersley?
#6 Arcadia Dream ($1.45)
Early win on the card for favourite backers with the odds-on fancy the one to beat from a gun gate (3), with the right weight (53kg) and hoop (Pike). The Bob & Sandra Peters-owned filly is well-bred, well-performed and well-positioned to enjoy a better run than her luckless Guineas start and return to her best form that will see her win this without a worry.
#4 Battle Torque ($7)
Nice run in stall for Hall and this in-form up-and-comer from the inside alley in a small field on the back of two previous wins including over 1500m at this track. Is up in distance but is going well and the journey looks like it will suit.
#2 Saxophonist ($11)
Bit of value adding in this progressive and promising staying type who can surprise at double figures with Hong Kong hoop Douglas Whyte, winner of last year’s Kingston Town Classic, in the saddle. The Saxon gelding was fifth over 1800m last time out beaten only 1.5 lengths and can improve on that now he’s had a look at the distance.
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