Dec 08, 2017 04:33 PM
Author: Mike Steward
Top level thoroughbreds face-off in the final Group 1 race of 2017.
The final Group 1 race of the year, The Kingston Town Classic, runs at Ascot on Saturday under weight-for-age (WFA) conditions. With two scratchings noted as I type, thirteen runners will contest the $1 million in prize money.
The race has attracted two Group 1 winners amongst other stakes level performers which should give punters a good form race to get their teeth into.
Race Track Traits
The 1800m course at Ascot starts on the side straight just after the finishing post, giving runners about 300m before the first turn. The course offers runners a good opportunity to make ground down the side straight before the home turn, which is over 400m long.
Some advantage is given to inside barriers as it increases their chances of getting a good position in the running.
There has been a fair bit of early activity in the market with punters focussing on Black Heart Bart, into $3 from $3.20 openers, and Perfect Jewel who has firmed a point into $6 on Friday morning.
#1 Black Heart Bart 3.20 -> 3
Hard to dispute the home town boys favouritism. Was very impressive when resuming from a two month freshner in the Railways Stakes over the mile a few weeks ago. Fitter for that run and has a good record at the distance. Better suited at WFA and looks the one to beat.
#2 It's Somewhat 5.50
Top record under WFA conditions. He's a genuine improver this campaign and after his 1.7 lengths third in the Mackinnon, looks ready to make his presence felt.
#15 Perfect Jewel 7 -> 6
Drops 4.5kg from her WA Guineas winning effort against her own age group. Is in electric form with three wins from her four runs this preparation with two of those at Ascot. Steps up to 1800 m for the first time but ticks a lot of other boxes.
#4 Tom Melbourne 8 -> 8
Once again looks a winning chance. But one has to ask, after another placing and 630 days since he last saluted: Does he know how to win?
#13 Achernar Star 10 -> 10
Close runner-up to Perfect Jewel in the WA Guineas where he met with interference. Has a case to figure in the finish.
Of the others...
Can't make a strong case for others with a few potential contenders coming worse off under WFA conditions.
1st Black Heart Bart - fitter and gets well in with the weights here. Hard to beat.
2nd It's Somewhat
3rd Achernar Star