The action of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival continues at Ascot Racecourse this Saturday, December 19, with the 2015 CB Cox Stakes stealing the show.
A final field of 11 stayers is engaged for Ascot Race 7 at 4:40pm (WA time) when this year’s $250,000 Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) runs as a lead-up to 2016 Perth Cup on January 2.
Odds-on favourite in CB Cox Stakes betting paying $1.50 after firming in from $1.65 is the Grant Williams-trained Delicacy.
A four-year-old daughter of Al Maher the dual Group 1 winning mare shoots for her first win this time in after a trio of nice lead-up runs including the second to youngster stablemate Perfect Reflection in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at the track last time out.
Winner of the Group 1 SA Oaks – Derby double at Morphettville in May, Delicacy was the first choice mount for Perth’s No. 1 hoop William Pike and should be peaking four runs in looking hard to beat.
She is followed in CB Cox Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au by just one other single figure hope, fellow mare Real Love ($4.60) who won this year’s Perth Cup.
Set to appreciate the extra metres this weekend the Adam Durrant-trained Desert King five-year-old has a solid record at Ascot (13-5-3-2) and is out to improve on a Kingston Town eighth where she failed to let down on a Heavy rated track.
Peter Hall, who rode Saturday’s top fancy Delicacy to victory in her South Australian Group 1 double as a three-year-olds, jumps on Real Love for the first time in the CB Cox Stakes looking for the upset.
So will the dominant two in the markets run the quinella or is there value further down the CB Cox Stakes odds in the likes of the Vaughn Sigley-trained Black Heart Bart ($12) who has winning form over Delicacy this summer or even Kingston Town third placed Musket four-year-old Dark Musket ($18) who looks over the odds for a place?
#11 Delicacy ($1.50)
She’s odds-on for a reason and looks the one to beat even at the short price. Four runs in this classy mare will be ready to peak and return to the form that saw her secure back-to-back Group 1s in SA during the winter. She ran a very brave second in the wet in the Kingston Town when narrowly beaten last time out from a nasty barrier 16 of 16 draw and with Pike in the saddle here will be flying from a better gate over a more suitable distance. She’s got winning form in elite level company up to 2500m and the 2100m looks ideal as she tracks towards the Perth Cup early next month.
#9 Balmont Girl ($12)
Barrier seven draw for this five-year-old daughter of Balmont who at her best is far better than the Kingston Town 12th where she struggled in the Heavy going. The run before she was a good Railway Stakes third over a mile and the 2100m is a non-issue as she’s got winning form over a mile and a half. She’s a multiple Group 3 winner at the track and on the improve this prep and getting up in distance can run a good place and be strong to the line.
#8 Dark Musket ($18)
Value bet looks to be Graeme Ballantyne’s progressive gelding who will run out a strong 2100m having won over 100m further. He has two thirds from four Ascot runs including in the Kingston Town Classic last start, form he’s out to repeat here against a similar class field. He did that from gate 13 of 16 at $151 odds a fortnight ago and won’t be found at that price again.
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