The last Group 1 race of the season in Australia...
A fourteen horse field has been announced to face off in Perth’s Ted Van Heemst Stakes 2016 – formerly the C.B. Cox Stakes – at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday.
Continuing the action of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival, the $250,000 Group 2 Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m) is a key lead-up to the Perth Cup held over the mile and a half back at the track on New Year’s Eve.
The sole last start winner in this season’s Ted Van Heemst Stakes field is the Fred Kersley-trained Respondent.
Drawn gate eight on Saturday the Haradasun six-year-old comes off a narrow victory in the Listed Tattersall’s Cup (2100m) over the same track and distance.
He carried 56.6kg that day and goes up to 59kg at weight-for-age this weekend.
Kersley has also accepted for Ihtsahymn who hasn’t won a race since June and who is out to atone for an eleventh in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
Likely favourite and one of the genuine headliners in the field is the Grant & Alana Williams-trained Perfect Reflection.
She has a wide barrier 12 draw to overcome but the distance and time to do it with Perth’s premier hoop William Pike booked for the ride.
The four-year-old daughter of More Than Ready has a stellar Ascot record of four wins and three thirds from seven starts at the track.
She is yet to win over further than 1800m, but is a Group 1 winner and comes off a string of top three performances.
Two back she crossed third in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and last start on December 3 she ran third to Stratum Star when unsuccessfully defending her title in the Kingston Town Classic.
The distance is the test this weekend, but she’s in the right form and is a livewire chance.
The stable have also accepted for Neverland in barrier two with Peter Hall riding and I’m Feeling Lucky in gate seven.
I’m Feeling Lucky is a six-year-old Bletchley Park mare who won four on the trot last prep before returning for a close first-up second to Silverstream in the Listed Jungle Dawn Classic (1400m).
She rises notably in distance second-up on Saturday, but has won over 2200m so the metres look a non-issue.
Also coming off a gun lead-up run into the former CB Cox Stakes this summer is the Graeme Ballantyne-trained Musket gelding Dark Musket.
The five-year-old finished third behind Kia Ora Koutou in the Listed JRA Trophy (2200m) at the track last weekend and is on the quick back-up into Saturday’s clash.
Dark Musket goes up from 55kg that run to 59kg on the weekend and has Jarrad Noske retaining the ride from gate nine.
Other notable hopes include the rails-drawn Dubai Escapade who has plenty of form at the distance (7-3-0-2) and proven stayer Zarantz who is out to break his Ascot hoodoo having failed to run top three from nine starts at the track to date.
See below for the official CB Cox Stakes – Ted Van Heemst Stakes – field and barriers with betting to open shortly at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2016 Ted Van Heemst / CB Cox Stakes Field & Barriers
Ascot Racecourse – 17/12/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.|
|1||x661x43630||IHTSAHYMN||Fred Kersley||Steven Parnham||5||59kg|
|3||6x8172x806||DUBAI ESCAPADE||Justin Warwick||Ben Kennedy||1||59kg|
|4||0x79600220||BASS STRAIT (NZ)||Neville Parnham||TBA||6||59kg|
|5||611x23x607||ZARANTZ||Simon A Miller||4||59kg|
|6||272164×833||DARK MUSKET||Graeme Ballantyne||Jarrad Noske||9||59kg|
|7||23116×1357||TRADESMAN||Robert & Todd Harvey||Troy Turner||13||59kg|
|8||9951113103||FATHOMS OF GOLD||Robyne Martin||Matthieu Autier||11||59kg|
|9||83×2497229||BEDAMIJO||Tara Itzstein||Shaun O’Donnell||14||57kg|
|10||1422×76805||NEVERLAND||Grant & Alana Williams||Peter Hall||2||57kg|
|11||9x751111x2||I’M FEELING LUCKY||Grant & Alana Williams||Glenn Smith||7||57kg|
|12||213114×808||TICK TICK BLOOM||G Durrant & J Miller||Patrick Carbery||3||57kg|
|13||41213×7786||SHINTA MANI||Sharon Miller||Jason Whiting||10||57kg|
|14||11x30x3133||PERFECT REFLECTION||Grant & Alana Williams||William Pike||12||56kg|
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