Lark Hill trainer Adam Durrant will shoot for back-to-back Starstruck Classic wins with his in-form mare Ideal Image heading the field for the 2015 edition at Ascot Racecourse on CB Cox Stakes Day this Saturday.
Last Perth Summer Racing Carnival Durrant took out the $100,000 Listed Starstruck Classic (1600m) with Real Charm who came off two previous Ascot wins including the Listed Jungle Dawn Classic (1400m).
Twelve months on he returns for this summer’s running of the fillies-and-mares’ feature with Ideal Image who also won the Jungle Dawn Classic in the lead-up.
She jumped from barrier one that day with William Pike aboard, and while she retains Perth’s No. 1 hoop she will need to be improving coming up with a wide barrier 11 of 12 draw for the Starstruck.
The only other last start winner in the field is the Jim Enright-trained Goldbo who has the outside alley to overcome again after she did it from 14 of 14 in easier company at Bunbury over 1420m on December 6.
Along with Ideal Image, last year’s winning trainer Durrant also saddles-up Fashion Princess in barrier five with Joseph Azzopardi retaining the ride on the Iffraaj six-year-old.
A two time winner and two time runner-up from six runs over Saturday’s distance, she comes off a fourth in the Jungle Dawn Classic when beaten only one and three quarter lengths.
The runner-up in the traditional Starstruck Classic lead-up isn’t in the mix this year but third placed Vital Importance is, the Neville Parnham-trained five-year-old looking to turn the tables on Ideal Image after crossing one and a half lengths off her earlier in the month as a $21 chance in betting.
Also out of the race is Phil Humann’s fifth-placed Keysbrook who has had six runs over a mile for a trio of second place efforts.
She also ran a brave fourth in both the Belmont Guineas (1600m) and Belmont Oaks (2000m) during the winter, but is yet to win at Ascot from 11 previous runs at Perth’s premier track.
Other notable Starstruck Classic hopefuls this year include the Nick Cox-trained daughter of Shamardal Mezulla who was runner-up at the track and distance in easier company on December 5 and the Fred Kersley-trained Blackfriars three-year-old Blackwood.
Taking on the older mares this weekend, the young filly has been in flying form over her nine career runs with five wins and two thirds to date.
Her latest win was on October 31 in the Listed Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m) before she ran third to subsequent Kingston Town Classic winner Perfect Reflection in the Group 3 WA Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) in mid-November.
She raced against the boys after that in the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) finishing two and a half lengths away fifth before her last start run when fifth again this time in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) in the mud.
Down in class and distance on Saturday Blackwood looks a livewire chance in the Starstruck with Steven Parnham riding the 50.5kg lightweight from barrier eight.
See below for the full Starstruck Classic 2015 field, barriers and jockeys then visit our preferred online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au for up to $500 in bonus bets when you deposit and quote the code BETBONUS this summer!
2015 Starstruck Classic Final Field & Barrier Draw
Ascot Race 6 (4:00pm) – 19/12/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight|
|1||x4735x1x21||IDEAL IMAGE||Adam Durrant||William Pike||11||57.5kg|
|2||16431x0x76||VAMPI LASS||Ben Pearce||TBA||2||57.5kg|
|3||x512176x93||VITAL IMPORTANCE||Neville Parnham||Chris Parnham||9||55kg|
|4||43222445×5||KEYSBROOK||Phil Humann||Peter Knuckey||7||55kg|
|5||3x5410x354||FASHION PRINCESS (NZ)||Adam Durrant||Joseph Azzopardi||5||55kg|
|6||151713×677||I’M FEELING LUCKY||Cliff Smith||Shaun O’Donnell||4||55kg|
|7||7859×18632||MEZULLA (NZ)||Nick Cox||Jarrad Noske||10||55kg|
|8||16x144x261||GOLDBO||Jim Enright||Glenn Smith||12||55kg|
|9||513210×188||TARQUINN SHADOW||Brett Pope||Ms Lucy Warwick||3||55kg|
|10||x2660x9330||DOUBT YOU CATCH ME||Fred Kersley||Jake Casey (a)||1||55kg|
|11||x009152243||BARAMBAS BID||Ivan Haggerty||Jason Whiting||6||55kg|
|12||1111×31355||BLACKWOOD||Fred Kersley||Steven Parnham||8||50.5kg|