Grant Williams’ CB Cox Stakes winning mare Delicacy has unsurprisingly been allocated the 59kg top weight for the Perth Cup 2016 on January 2 at Ascot Racecourse, a weight no hose has carried to victory in the WA feature in over 100 years.
The four-year-old daughter of Al Maher is a dual Group 1 winner having completed Morphettville’s SA Oaks – Derby double during the winter and last start she secured an easy win as the odds-on favourite in the Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m).
It was her first back in Perth since her success in Adelaide earlier in the year and one that secured her odds-on price again for the upcoming $500,000 Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m).
She carried 56kg to victory in the Cox Stakes with Perth’s best jockey William Pike in the saddle, but will be giving all the weight away if she runs in the mile and a half classic next month with 59kg on her back.
The highest weighted Perth Cup winner this century was Lords Ransom (55.5kg in 2010), raced by Bob and Sandra Peters like Delicacy.
Co-owner breeder Bob Peters won last summer’s Perth Cup with Real Love, the Adam Durrant-trained daughter of Desert King carrying the 54kg minimum to victory 12 months ago with Pike aboard.
This season five-year-old Real Love is the 57kg second top weight for her title defence in the feature, but could carry the most on the day with Peters contemplating not running Delicacy.
“Mares have won the Perth Cup but they don’t win with big weights,” Peters told Perth Racing.
“For Delicacy there are other races available to her in the East.”
Since the Perth Cup distance was cut from 3200m to 2400m back in 2009, the average weight carried to victory in the handicap clash is just 53.5kg.
If Delicacy is saved for an eastern state raid later in 2016, Real Love will go up 2kg to carry the 59kg minimum top weight.
The only other Perth Cup nomination weighted above the current 54kg minimum is the Paula Wagg-trained Balmont Girl with 56kg.
The five-year-old Balmont Girl has winning form up to 2400m, but hasn’t won since last year’s Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) and was last seen running a mid-field seventh in the CB Cox Stakes.
Of the better weighted hopes the best fancied in Perth Cup betting are the fellow Williams-trained four-year-old Big Brown mare Neverland and Respondent.
Neverland is six from nine over her career to date, with her latest run being in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on December 5.
She heads into the Perth Cup via a run this Wednesday at the track in the $100,000 Listed A.T.A Stakes (2200m) as does Durrant’s Haradasun gelding Respondent.
Third in the Group 3 A.J. Scahill Stakes (1400m) last time out in late November, Respondent is the 59kg top weight in Wednesday’s staying showdown where Pike rides Neverland from a wide barrier 13 of 16 draw on the 55kg minimum.
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2016 Perth Cup Nominations & Weights
Ascot Racecourse – 02/01/2016
|2||REAL LOVE||57||102||ADAM DURRANT|
|3||BALMONT GIRL||56||100||PAULA WAGG|
|4||ASK ME NICELY (NZ)||54||87||FRED KERSLEY|
|5||BASS STRAIT (NZ)||54||94||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
|8||COSMIC STORM||54||76||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|9||COUGAR EXPRESS||54||73||LINDSEY SMITH|
|10||DARK MUSKET||54||77||GRAEME BALLANTYNE|
|11||DRIVE WEST||54||88||JOE MILLER|
|12||DUBAI ESCAPADE||54||90||JUSTIN WARWICK|
|13||DUST ME OFF||54||86||PAUL TAPPER|
|14||FULGUR (GB)||54||87||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
|15||KIROV BOY||54||94||ARTHUR MORTIMER|
|19||RAM JAM||54||72||DARREN MC AULIFFE|
|20||REBELSON||54||90||DARREN MC AULIFFE|
|22||SAVANAROLA||54||78||DARREN MC AULIFFE|
|23||SAXON SAXOFF||54||67||KEVIN GREEN|
|25||STEEL SPUR||54||69||NORM PASCOE|
|26||THE LADIES CHOICE||54||68||MARK WRIGHT|
|27||TOWER OF LONHRO||54||96||ADAM DURRANT|
|28||VERDELLO BLUE||54||80||TOBY RONEY|