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Just six summer stayers make-up the Ted Van Heemst Stakes 2019 field at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday as the count down to the Perth Cup heats up.
Formerly known as the CB Cox Stakes, this season’s Group 2 $250,000 Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m) steals the show in WA over the weekend despite the diminutive field size.
Hot favourite in Ted Van Heemst Stakes betting through Ladbrokes.com.au at a near odds-on quote of $2 is the Grant & Alana Williams-trained Regal Power.
Drawn gate six with Perth’s premier hoop William Pike booked for the ride, the Pierro four-year-old is back further than 1800m for the first time since winning the Group 2 WATC Derby (2400m) as a three-year-old back in April.
Since then he has had three runs at Ascot over the spring including his narrow Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) success from barrier 13 of 14 in the mile classic on November 23.
Last start Damien Oliver rode him to a sixth behind the filly Kay Cee in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) where Regal Power carted 58.5kg from barrier 15 of 16.
Back against a much smaller field and reuniting with Pike in the Ted Van Heemst, Regal Power looks a huge hope to return to winning form.
Co-trainer Grant Williams has dominated the recent Ted Van Heemst Stakes results winning four of the past five editions with Elite Belle (2014), Delicacy (2015), Perfect Reflection (2016) and Galaxy Star (2018).
The latest two Ted Van Heemst Stakes winners for the stable Williams co-trained with his daughter Alana, a former jockey who also rode the Lindsey Smith-trained C.B. Cox Stakes winner Old Money to victory in 2000.
Team Williams are also represented in the Ted Van Heemst 2019 by the well-supported Mississippi Delta in gate two with Clint Johnston-Porter in the saddle.
Two back the High Chaparral mare enjoyed a first-up win in the Group 3 RJ Peters Stakes (1500m) before her last start ninth in the Kingston Town Classic.
Mississippi Delta presents fit third-up and looks suited to the step-up in distance having run fourth in last season’s Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m).
The mares have an outstanding recent record in the Ted Van Heemst Stakes with all four of the Williams-trained winners in the past five years being mares.
Occupying the second line of Ted Van Heemst Stakes betting at $3.60 and firming is the Darren McAuliffe-trained Gatting.
Jamie Kah partners the Hard Spun six-year-old who enjoyed a career-best performance in Melbourne over the spring winning Flemington’s Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) first-up as a $101 outsider.
Gatting ran second to Galaxy Star in the 2018 Ted Van Heemst Stakes 12 months ago and comes off the Kingston Town fifth, the galloper set to swoop late getting out over the 2100m on Saturday.
Dual Perth Cup winner Star Exhibit is the big drifter out from $5.50 to $10 in the Ted Van Heemst Stakes odds for Saturday.
The Adam Durrant-trained Statue Of Liberty eight-year-old won the Group 2 Lee Steere first-up in early November before unplaced runs in the Railway (8th) and Kingston Town Classic (13th).
No doubt he will be finishing off better here against just five rivals over the extra distance as he gears up for yet another Perth Cup run in January.
The rails-drawn Ambitious ($12) racing for the first time since August and Justin Warwick’s Kalgoorlie Cup winner Spiritual Warrior ($15) round out the field and markets for the feature race in Perth on Saturday.
2019 Ted Van Heemst Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||4x68x90x0x||AMBITIOUS (JPN)||Lindsey Smith||Jason Whiting||1||59kg||105|
|2||1225150275||GATTING||Darren Mcauliffe||Jamie Kah||4||59kg||112|
|3||051145×180||STAR EXHIBIT||Adam Durrant||Peter Hall||3||59kg||107|
|4||9571111648||SPIRITUAL WARRIOR||Justin Warwick||Ms Lucy Warwick||5||59kg||90|
|5||321211×216||REGAL POWER||Grant & Alana Williams||William Pike||6||58kg||108|
|6||6121214×19||MISSISSIPPI DELTA||Grant & Alana Williams||Clint Johnston-Porter||2||57kg||97|
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