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The Grant & Alana Williams-trainer top weight Perfect Reflection has drawn ideally with gate six in Saturday’s Perth Cup 2016 field at Ascot Racecourse.
Headlining the New Year’s Eve racing action in W.A., this summer’s $500,000 Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) has attracted a final field of 15 stayers.
Carrying the 59kg top-weight and out to equal the record under those kilos as a mare is More Than Ready four-year-old Perfect Reflection.
Winner of last season’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m), she ran third in that race on December 3 before posting her first win over further in the Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) a fortnight later.
She now steps up to the mile and a half for a Perth Cup bid, rising from 56kg up three kilos with William Pike retaining the ride on the Bob Peters-raced star.
Peters has prepared six previous Perth Cup winners including the mare Delicacy who won last summer with 59kg on the back of a CB Cox Stakes victory.
Team Williams have also accepted for Neverland in barrier 13 on the 54kg minimum, the five-year-old daughter of Big Brown out to improve on her eighth in the CB Cox Stakes.
Neverland was beaten under five lengths in the traditional Perth Cup lead-up and will relish the drop from 57kg in that weight-for-age showdown.
Glenn Smith comes aboard for his first ride on the fellow Peters-raced mare who is out to go one better than her second to Delicacy in January’s edition of the Perth Cup 2016.
The other best out of the CB Cox Stakes backing-up in the rematch on Saturday are runner-up Fathoms Of Gold and third placegetter Ihtsahymn.
Robyne Martin trains Fath six-year-old Fathoms Of Gold who stepped up notably in class for the Group 2 on December 17 and enjoyed an upset placing beaten only three quarters of a length as a $51 outsider in betting.
The gelding comes down from 59kg to 54kg in the Perth Cup and jumps from barrier two with Matthieu Autier retaining the ride.
Ihtsahymn crossed a length off Perfect Reflection in the CB Cox Stakes – run this year as the Ted Van Heemst Stakes – with 59kg and drops to 56kg on the weekend.
He is the only other runner allocated above the minimum on Saturday and is drawn in gate five with Steven Parnham riding the Fred Kersley-trained six-year-old.
Kersley is also represented in the half-a-million-dollar feature by Respondent in the outside barrier (15).
Haradasun six-year-old Respondent ran second in last weekend’s Listed A.T.A. Stakes (2200m) on Christmas Eve.
He crossed just over a length off the winner under 59kg and looks well weighted on 54kg for the Perth Cup, which he contests for a third time.
ATA Stakes winner Star Exhibit is after the double on the quick back-up for G Durrant & Jason Miller who dominate the Group 2 field numbers-wise with five Perth Cup acceptors.
Star Exhibit is drawn in gate 10 and steps up to the 2400m for the first time.
He drops from 56.5kg in the ATA Stakes and caught the eye the run before finishing runner-up to one of the best in Perth Cup betting, stablemate Kia Ora Koutou in the Listed JRA Trophy (2200m).
The fellow Durrant & Miller-trained Kia Ora Koutou is a progressive four-year-old son of Blackfriars who comes into the Perth Cup on the back of his lead-up win from December 10.
See below for the full Perth Cup 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and weights then head to our No. 1 recommended bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au for the best summer racing odds and offers this weekend and beyond!
2016 Perth Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Ascot Racecourse – 31/12/2016
|1||PERFECT REFLECTION||Grant & Alana Williams||William Pike||6||59kg|
|2||IHTSAHYMN||Fred Kersley||Steven Parnham||5||56kg|
|3||COUGAR EXPRESS||Lindsey Smith||Randy Tan||1||54kg|
|4||DARK ALERT||G. Durrant & Jason Miller||Peter Hall||9||54kg|
|5||DARK MUSKET||Graeme Ballantyne||Jason Whiting||7||54kg|
|6||DUBAI ESCAPADE||Justin Warwick||Lucy Warwick||3||54kg|
|7||FATHOMS OF GOLD||Robyne Martin||Matthieu Autier||2||54kg|
|8||KIA ORA KOUTOU||G. Durrant & Jason Miller||Joseph Azzopardi||8||54kg|
|9||NEVERLAND||Grant & Alana Williams||Glenn Smith||13||54kg|
|10||RESPONDENT||Fred Kersley||Chris Parnham||15||54kg|
|11||STAR EXHIBIT||G. Durrant & Jason Miller||Jarrad Noske||10||54kg|
|12||THE FORGOTTEN ONE||G. Durrant & Jason Miller||Ben Paterson||12||54kg|
|13||TICK TICK BLOOM||G. Durrant & Jason Miller||Patrick Carbery||11||54kg|
|14||TRADESMAN||Robert & Todd HArvey||Troy Turner||14||54kg|
|15||ZARANTZ||Simon A. Miller||Brad Parnham||4||54kg|
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