Jockey Peter Hall is confident his mount in Saturday’s CB Cox Stakes 2015 in Perth Real Love is the mare to beat as she gears up for Perth Cup title defence back at Ascot Racecourse next month.
Adam Durrant’s five-year-old daughter of Desert King is one of 11 confirmed stayers facing off in the $250,000 Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) this weekend for the later Perth Summer Racing Carnival feature.
Drawn in barrier five and getting in on 57kg is Hall’s ride Real Love who is out to atone for two unplaced Group 1 runs when seventh in the Railway Stakes (1600m) and eighth in the Kingston Town Classic (1800m) in the lead-up.
Winner of the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) first up with Perth’s leading hoop William Pike aboard, Real Love has had three different hoops in the saddle for her three runs this campaign.
Hall makes it four from four races when he rides this year’s Perth Cup winner for the first time in the CB Cox Stakes.
As well as the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m), the January 2 feature on the cards again for her this summer, Real Love is best known for her Ascot victories in the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2100m) and the Listed WA St Leger (2100m) leading into her mile and a half success.
Current favourite in the CB Cox Stakes betting for this weekend is fellow mare, the Grant Williams-trained Delicacy who is odds-on for the win.
A dual Group 1 winner as a three-year-old in South Australia earlier in the year with Hall guiding her to victory in the SA Oaks and Derby, the daughter of Al Maher comes off a second in the Kingston Town Classic.
Hall picked up the ride on the fellow Bob and Sandra Peters-owned Real Love this weekend after connections put Pike on Delicacy who shoots for her 10th win from 18 career runs from gate six in the CB Cox Stakes.
Pike rode the now four-year-old for her first two runs this time in when third to Black Heart Bart in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) and sixth to Good Project in the Railway.
Despite Real Love being the second pick in the CB Cox Stakes odds and despite Delicacy’s nose loss to Perfect Reflection in the Kingston Town, Hall is convinced he is on the right horse this weekend for the upset.
“It was always going to happen,” Hall told The West Australian of being taken off Delicacy this weekend in favour of Pike.
“He (Pike) would have been mad if he didn’t choose Delicacy (over Real Love).
“It’s exciting to be riding Real Love in a race for the first time.”
Hall jumped aboard Real Love for a strong piece of trackwork on Tuesday and was pleased with how the mare felt ahead of her clash with Delicacy on Saturday.
“She looks like she needs 2000m-plus to show her best,” Hall said yesterday.
“Danielle Conroy rides her in all her work, but I galloped her this morning and she’s going along really well.”
While confident, he’s not bullish knowing they still have Delicacy to beat who was brave in defeat from barrier 16 of 16 last time out.
“She’s got such a brilliant turn of foot,” Hall said of the main danger in the CB Cox Stakes.
“We nearly pinched a Group 1 from barrier 16.”
The other best fancied at more generous prices for a CB Cox Stakes upset on Saturday are Vaughn Sigley’s Blackfriars five-year-old Black Heart Bart and the Paula Wagg-trained Balmont mare Balmont Girl both out to atone for unplaced Kingston Town Classic runs in the mud last time out.
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