Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
This Saturday Ascot Racecourse will host the next traditional Perth Cup 2018 lead-up with the top fancies for the New Year’s Day classic facing off in the Ted Van Heemst Stakes field.
Formerly known as the C.B. Cox Stakes but renamed in 2016 in honour of Western Australian Racing Hall of Famer Ted van Heemst, this summer’s Group 2 $400,000 Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m) field attracted just eight runners.
Leading the line-up is the Alan Mathews-trained Pounamu, the Authorized six-year-old coming off an upset win in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) as a $26 roughie.
The grey is yet to win over further than that and how he goes this weekend over the 2100m will determine whether he firms or drifts from his current $6 price in the pre-field Perth Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Leading the pre-field Perth Cup betting markets at $4 each are co-favourites Material Man and Trap For Fools, both accepted for an early showdown in the Ted Van Heemst Stakes.
Trap For Fools is prepared by Lindsey Smith and is also accepted for this Wednesday’s Listed $100,000 A.T.A. Stakes (2200m) at the Ascot track so could be kept rock hard fit with two runs in the space of three days.
A four-year-old son of Poet’s Voice, Trap For Fools is in flying form this Perth Summer Racing Carnival having won his past five starts on the trot including the Listed G.A. Towton Cup (2200m) by over two lengths on December 9.
“We’ll go to the first one and see how he pulls up, but at this stage he’ll go around in both,” Smith told The West Australian.
“He would have a hard gallop on Wednesday whether it was in a race or at home.
“I’ve done it in the past with success and not many horses come along like this one.
“Years ago I raced them every week quite a lot, but they brought in a rule in WA where you can only race so many times in a month.”
The Justin Warwick-trained Material Man is a six-year-old son of Vital Equine whose last start produced the second to Pounamu in the Kingston Town Classic at blowout odds.
The other best fancied Perth Cup bound horse in the mix for the Ted Van Heemst Stakes on the weekend is the Adam Durrant-trained Choisir seven-year-old Zarantz ($11).
The veteran stayer has winning form up to two miles but needs to be improving on his last start fifth behind Trap For Fools in the G.A. Towton Cup to be competitive this weekend and in the Perth Cup on January 1.
Check out the full Ted Van Heemst Stakes 2017 field and barriers below before locking in your early selections for the Perth Cup online through Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Ted Van Heemst Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Ascot Racecourse – 23/12/2017
|1||POUNAMU||4||59||107||PATRICK CARBERY||ALAN MATHEWS|
|2||MATERIAL MAN||5||59||102||LUCY WARWICK||JUSTIN WARWICK|
|3||ZARANTZ||8||59||98||CHRIS PARNHAM||ADAM DURRANT|
|4||DARK MUSKET||2||59||74||CLINT JOHNSTON-PORTER||GRAEME BALLANTYNE|
|5||SUNSET SUPERMAN||1||59||62||DANIEL STAECK||BRETT POPE|
|6||TRAP FOR FOOLS||6||58||94||ALAN KENNEDY||LINDSEY SMITH|
|7||COSMIC STORM||3||57||93||JARRAD NOSKE||GRANT & ALANA WILLIAMS|
|8||SHINTA MANI||7||57||85||JASON WHITING||SHARON MILLER|
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