Grant Williams’ dual Group 1 winning mare Delicacy is early favourite to take out the Perth Cup 2016 in early January on the back of a brave second in last weekend’s Kingston Town Classic at Ascot Racecourse.
The Karnup-based four-year-old daughter of Al Maher was brave in defeat crossing second in a photo behind her youngster stablemate Perfect Reflection in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on December 5, an effort she is tipped to improve on when stepped back in class but up in distance next run.
A winner of four straight black-type races at the track earlier in the year including the WA Oaks – WATC Derby double over the mile and a half, Delicacy continued her gun three-year-old form in Adelaide to complete the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks – SA Derby Double as well.
She returned this time in on November 7 for a third to Black Heart Bart in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) before improving on her sixth in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) for the Kingston Town second.
Now connections plan to back-up the flying mare on January 2 in the $400,000 Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) run over an even more suitable distance for the $1.67 million earner.
Delicacy tops the current all-in Perth Cup odds at bookmakers around the country at a quote of around $3 narrowly leading fellow mares Real Love and Neverland.
The Adam Durrant-trained Desert King five-year-old Real Love won last summer’s Perth Cup by one and a half lengths before two unplaced autumn runs in Melbourne.
This time in she won first-up in the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) back home before a Railway Stakes seventh and last start eighth in the Kingston Town where the Heavy (8) track didn’t suit.
On firmer ground over more distance she is rated a good chance of going back-to-back in the Perth Cup and win the race on successive years for the first time since Magistrate (1981-82).
Neverland is a stablemate to Delicacy, the four-year-old Big Brown mare yet to win over further than 1500m but still right in the Perth Cup mix after her fourth in the Kingston Town Classic.
She has won six of her nine career starts to date and while the test on January 2 will be the step up to 2400m, she ran a competitive third to Delicacy back in mid-March over 2200m in the Listed Natasha Stakes.
Williams’ Kingston Town Classic winner Perfect Reflection and Durrant’s other notable hope Respondent are the next best fancied in the pre-field Perth Cup betting markets.
Undefeated with five wins from as many starts so far, More Than Ready three-year-old Perfect Reflection entered the history books with the Kingston Town success as she become the first filly to ever win the race.
Respondent meanwhile bypassed the Kingston Town and was last seen running third to Watermans Bay in the Group 3 AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m) on November 28.
The Haradasun five-year-old has winning form up to 2400m however having won the Group 2 WATC Derby (2400m) in 2014, which was the gelding’s last time in the winner’s stall.
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