In a devastatingly close all Grant Williams-trained quinella at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday three-year-old Perfect Reflection became the first ever Kingston Town Classic winning filly defeating stablemate Delicacy in the weight-for-age classic.
Finishing off Group 1 racing for another calendar year, the $1 million Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) featured a field of 16 stayers who faced off in the mud on a Heavy (8) track.
Having her first run on Heavy going, More Than Ready filly Perfect Reflection thrived in the conditions with Perth’s premier hoop William Pike rewarded for sticking with the youngster to score his maiden Kingston Town Classic trophy.
Pike worked hard to stay aboard the eventual Kingston Town winner having to diet to get down to the 50kg she carried to victory, effort that was well worth it after his narrow second aboard Disposition behind Moriarty 12 months earlier in the same race.
“Last year my sweetheart was Elite Belle, this year it’s Perfect Reflection,” Pike told Perth Racing.
“It felt a little bit more of an achievement this year, because I had to diet for the race and I had to build myself for the occasion.
“It felt pretty good to do the extra effort and get the result.
“When you win the big ones that is what it is all about.”
It was also the first win in the Perth Summer Racing Carnival classic for the Karnup-based Williams who prepared second past the post as well with his four-year-old Al Maher mare Delicacy.
Only 0.05 lengths separated the first two as the punters’ pick Perfect Reflection ($4.40), backing up off a win in the Group 3 W.A. Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m), retained her undefeated record after the late lunge of dual Group 1 winner Delicacy.
She has now won five from five for $870,950 in prize money while Delicacy ($5), ridden on Saturday by Peter Hall, showed nice improvement off her last start sixth in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m).
Finishing off the 2015 Kingston Town Classic trifecta a distant four and a half lengths off the winner in an upset result for third was the Graeme Ballantyne-trained Dark Musket, a $151 outsider in betting, winner of the Listed Belmont Classic (2200m) during the winter.
After the win Pike, who had the pick of the Williams-trained three in the race including eventual fourth placegetter Neverland ($16), told the media he took off for the line too early but that the Bob and Sandra Peters-owned filly was classy enough to still get the job done in the tight photo-finish.
“I went too early but she was bolting and going so well,” Pike said.
“I had no hesitation in picking her as my ride.”
While she was the first filly to salute in the race, Perfect Reflection continued the good record of three-year-olds in the Kingston Town joining Megatic (2007), Playing God (2010) and Ihtsahymn (2013) as horse of that age group to win in the past decade.
The flop of the race was one-time favourite, German raider Magic Artist ($5) ridden by Damien Oliver for a disappointing 13th some 24 lengths off the winner in beating home just three other runners.
Fourth in both the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the earlier Saturday storm in Perth hampered the stallion’s chances as he failed to let down on the rain-affected track.
A fast tempo throughout the run was set by Dan Morton’s Zabeel gelding Hazzabeel who faded on the home turn and could only manage to finish 15th of the 16 starters.
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2015 Kingston Town Classic Results & Finishing Order
Ascot Race 8 – 05/12/2015
|1||16||PERFECT REFLECTION||Grant Williams||William Pike||–||12||50kg||$4.40|
|2||11||DELICACY||Grant Williams||Peter Hall||0.05L||16||56.5kg||$5|
|3||8||DARK MUSKET||Graeme Ballantyne||Jason Whiting||4.5L||13||58.5kg||$151|
|4||12||NEVERLAND||Grant Williams||Douglas Whyte||5.25L||10||56.5kg||$16|
|5||15||BLACKWOOD||Fred Kersley||Steven Parnham||5.75L||14||50kg||$26|
|6||13||MAN BOOKER||Daniel Morton||Ms Jerry Noske||8.5L||9||52kg||$10|
|7||1||EXTRA ZERO||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Mark Zahra||9L||15||59kg||$41|
|8||10||REAL LOVE||Adam Durrant||Chris Parnham||10.25L||7||57kg||$8|
|9||2||BLACK HEART BART||Vaughn Sigley||Glenn Smith||12.25L||3||59kg||$8|
|10||3||TOWER OF LONHRO||Adam Durrant||Joseph Azzopardi||13L||4||59kg||$81|
|11||6||WOODSVILLE||Jeff Noske||Jarrad Noske||15L||11||59kg||$201|
|12||9||BALMONT GIRL||Paula Wagg||Shaun O’Donnell||16.75L||2||57kg||$26|
|13||4||MAGIC ARTIST (IRE)||Andreas Wohler||Damien Oliver||24L||1||59kg||$5|
|14||14||LONDON LINE||Daniel Morton||Brad Parnham||25.75L||6||52kg||$31|
|15||7||HAZZABEEL (NZ)||Daniel Morton||Damian Lane||29.75L||5||59kg||$31|
|16||5||BASS STRAIT (NZ)||Neville Parnham||Patrick Carbery||34.75L||8||59kg||$151|