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Full Kingston Town Classic Day Preview

Terry Leighton | Metropolitan Racing | Thu 6 December, 2018

We reach a sad but fulfilling conclusion to the TabTouch Master series, with my body feeling the full effects of many a Kirin Megumi. It’s definitely been a staying test, ran at a sprinters tempo.

This is the feature I’m most excited for, as I have been telling anybody who would listen (which isn’t many people) to hop on Arcadia Queen all the way down from the early $26 which was lobbed up some weeks ago. Very likely to have a broken heart at the end of the eighth race.

Luckily, there are plenty of other winners.


Race 1 - Bonnie & Jake

Speed Map - They will go like the absolute wind here (took me a while to find a vegan friendly phrase, but I believe this is acceptable) with all seven entrants being capable of taking up the running. Fire And Rain (barrier 4), Lord Greystoke (5) and Jake Casey’s first Saturday runner as a trainer, Classy Lassy (6) are all super quick early. With some inexperienced jockeys riding a couple of those runners, it could be a very messy affair out in front. Market Ruler (1) and Rebel Yell (2) look best placed to take a sit in behind the speed and let the carnage unfold.

Race Overview - There are too many variables in this event to really consider this a serious betting medium, but Market Ruler does look perfectly placed to do a bit of pipe smoking from barrier one. Having been freshened up after some reasonable runs in the listed Belgravia and Burgess Queen, this Universal Ruler filly is a smart conveyance when right. Damian Lane takes the ride and he should be able to hold the back of the very hot speed. It’ll just about be finding a gap from there. Simon Miller is a trainer you can trust to get a horse right coming off a small freshen up.

I didn’t like the way Fire And Rain was ridden first up when there was no aggression shown to take up the running and find the fence. This is something we’ve seen a lot of lately with jockeys desperate to hand up, or walk them despite it being to their mounts detriment. You would suspect the instructions to Jade Mcnaught would be to roll along, though she may have to look at plan B if the pressure from her outside comes as expected.

Rebel Yell has done his best work under the vigour of Paul Harvey, though the form around him and weight drop do make this winnable. A lot of eyes will be on Classy Lassy who has looked like a world beater at all public appearances (trials and race) to date. Had this Playing God filly drawn underneath the other speed, I would have gone close to having her on top.

If you can shop $3+ Market Ruler, she’s probably worth a small investment.


Market Ruler
Classy Lassy
Fire And Rain
Rebel Yell

Suggested Bet: 40 wins Market Ruler (2).


Race 2 - Breaking The Shackles

Speed Map - Stares Andwhispers (barrier 9) is a very quick animal early and Bonnie Palise for the second race in a row would love nothing more than to land on the rail with minimal fuss. Unfortunately again, she has drawn outside of the other speed. M’Lady (3) and Secret Assault (8) are both quick animals early and I can’t imagine either Chris Parnham or Damien Oliver having huge designs on handing up over the 1000m journey. Again, with the youthful jockey engaged there could be some carnage up front.

Shackleton (2) should be able to park right behind the speed with Alpha Sky (1) likely three back the fence. Princess Zelda (4) and Bon Voyage (5) look like two beneficiaries of the heavy top end speed, while Danny George (10) will probably be ridden dead cold.

Race Overview - Little bit of guesswork involved in this with Danny George, Alpha Sky, My Demi and Shackleton all racing first up. A little bit of that guesswork appears to have been taken out of the equation for us mortal punters after Shackleton’s $7 to $2.80 early betting move. In all fairness, there is about 12,000 owners and it probably took a $10 each way bet for our beloved corporate bookmakers to make such a rash move. Another of the Gangemi imports who while only winning a maiden and class one at his first preparation in Western Australia, did so in style. Showed he can race over the speed, carry weight and put in late. A winning recipe for the short Ascot straight. Should be stalking the speed and is coming off a really nice trial. The only worry may be some softness over the final 100m with the 322 days between runs.

There is a real distinct lack of confidence which falls over the rest of the field. Trangressor is outclassed, Danny George has drawn poorly and the trials leave some question marks, the 1000m is too short for Alpha Sky and the same could be said for Bon Voyage who has needed every inch of the 1100 and 1200m for his two career victories.

M’Lady is suited back to the 1000m, but again just how classy she is, especially under some likely pressure is yet to be proven. Princess Zelda is one who could run a race at a price. Arguably a good thing beaten last start when Glenn Smith was a victim of circumstances and pushed extremely wide that day, the horse who got the saloon run through and beat her home was subsequent winner Dam Ready. From barrier 4, this will be a matter of hoping Bonnie puts the pressure on up top and she is the fittest and sharpest horse over the final 200m. At nearly $4 a place, she is the way I would be looking for an investment.


Princess Zelda
Bon Voyage

Suggested Bet: No bet.


Race 3 - Like A Candle In The Wind

Terrific tribute from Perth Racing to have a race named after the late Bill Doughty, trainer of recent victor Rockon Tommy.

Speed Map - The first 100m of this event is crucial. The Nicconian (barrier 4) will be looking to continue his winning formula of finding the rail and never being headed. Cognac (2) is a better horse when leading and there should be designs on holding the rail. In saying that, this stable has surprised me with tactics in recent times (Monash at York, Fire And Rain at Ascot) where they have appeared hell bent on not leading. Not how they usually operate and all of those instances have been to the horses detriment. Does not always begin well however so it is likely The Nicconian will be able to find the fence. Minus Looks (3) is another who could have a crack for the fence, though I think Peter Hall will be content with the sit.

Minimal other speed engaged outside of those three. River Dance (8) will and Chesten Flyer (9) might attempt to work forward and look for spots but that is fraught with danger from the wide alleys. A lot of weight for River Dance to get caught deep with first up if that was to occur. Candlelight Star (5) is not the sharpest beginner but has been a little more reliable out of the steel this campaign. It’s a rarity he isn’t in the last couple and this could be his chance to race a little handier.

Race Overview - The Stageman and Enticing Star form really does jump off the page with River Dance. Two terrific rides from wide gates (11 & 13) by Jarrad Noske last campaign, would give supporters of this horse confidence he can do the same here. Those two runs were the first two of his career under Fenella Martin and were arguably also his two best. Interesting to see him resume without a trial after two last time in.

I’ve an unashamed Candlelight Star fan all the way back to the Roy Rogers days. Adam Durrant again has this big grey son of Kendel Star flying and this does look like the perfect assignment for him. Was big on Railway Stakes day when making his run down a not so favourable centre of the track and only missing The Nicconian by a length. The weight swing should bridge that gap alone. Expecting him to be slightly closer to the speed here.

The Nicconian was one of our best of the day on Railway Stakes day and the ‘mapped winner’ did not disappoint. If he is able to cross Cognac and Minus Looks and find the rail with minimal fuss then he can definitely win again. I do think he might have had his wins this campaign however. Minus Looks is another who can run a big race from the favourable draw. Is a model of consistency.

A runner which will probably jump at $50+ but I don’t think has been as poor as his paper form suggests is Denim Pack. Held up badly fresh before racing at the unsuitable 1400m. Since dropped back to the 1100m when never in the race at Bunbury. If Lisa Staples is able to hold The Nicconian’s back, stranger things have happened.

Really do like Candlelight Star here with a big watch on River Dance. Consider a save.


Candlelight Star
River Dance
The Nicconian
Denim Pack

Suggested Bet: 70 wins Candlelight Star (2).


Race 4 - Emma’s Pearl

Speed Map - Fair few moving parts in this speed map. No doubt that Rising Sea (barrier 7) will want to lead this after his success seven days ago. Expect Noske to be aggressive early. While it wouldn’t be my advisable tactic, I expect Moet De Vega (2) to hand up as it does seem to be the flavour of the month. Nelson’s Flight (9) is likely to roll across and work to Rising Sea’s outside with Wonorg (8) the nuisance value in the first four. There should be a good amount of speed on here.

Watch Me Ney Ney (4) has some tactical speed and should get the run of the race just off them, while Pearl Trade’s (1) horror jump last time out can be considered an anomaly. Usually a reasonably reliable beginner. Expecting her to be three back the pegs. Lucky Roar (5) and Royal Statue (3) should both settle midfield.

Race Overview - Nelson’s Flight is the big class dropper. A nice run behind Jeraft in a 72+ before a sound effort in the Group Three RJ Peters Stakes. I don’t think at the moment there is as big a class jump from the graduation’s to the 72+’s and beyond as there perhaps has been in the past and I don’t think Nelson’s is quite at the top of his game. The weight and sticky barrier make it hard to come at him with much confidence.

Royal Statue is one which has snuck under most of our guards. After Pike had won the Guineas and Railway, we’ve let this horse drift out to $7+ on the exchange. I’m a slow learner. While I am not convinced this horse is necessarily that good, the bloke who sits on top of it is.

I don’t think I will be alone in tipping Pearl Trade as one of the value bets of the day. I’ve always wanted to see Alan Mathews get this daughter of Trade Fair out towards a mile and this does look a great assignment for her. Completely blew the start at her most recent outing before absolutely monstering the line. Not many made that type of ground down the centre of the track which was made even more impressive by the big headstart she gave the field. A bit like waiting for your mate with short arms and long pockets to buy you a beer, there will be some heart in mouth moments with the apprentice a few back on the fence. Emma is currently riding in really good form and let’s just say I have more faith she’ll get the horse out, than my mate buying me that beer.

Watch Me Ney Ney was a forget run last start. In between runners throughout while being involved in bumping duals. Never liked how he travelled, a horse with a lot of upside. Lucky Roar was another huge run in that same event.

If you are willing to look outside of likely favourites Moet De Vega and Royal Statue, this is a race with a heap of value. The $14 (and more so the $4 a place) for Pearl Trade stands out.


Pearl Trade
Watch Me Ney Ney
Moet De Vega
Royal Statue

Suggested Bet: 20 wins and 60 places Pearl Trade (7)


Race 5 - Girls v Boys

Speed Map - The Velvet King (barrier 3) will likely cross and lead with Shapita (4) racing on his outside. Chris Waller and Darren Weir have kept their three year olds across for this race and I would be surprised if they adopted patient tactics. This might see Junipal (8) look to come across and find a spot just behind the speed with Orcein (1) likely to kick up and hold The Velvet King’s back. Festival Miss (5) settles ahead of the other sharp finisher in Cup Night (6).

Race Overview - The girls have absolutely dominated the blokes in the three year old features thus far with the only three fillies engaged in the Guineas, quite extraordinarily running the trifecta.

I am going to tip that dominance to continue with juvenile expert, Simon Miller and his filly Shapita. There are a lot of similarities to The Velvet King in her path here with both running fourth to the same three star fillies in different listed events. It is a real coin flip to try and split them, but the 4kg weight swing and the way she hit the line behind the smart Dance Music, gives her the nod. The fast finishing Festival Miss was making no impression on her late.

Junipal was a huge run in the WA Guineas and would be close to a tip here had he not drawn the outside alley while Cup Night has been luckless at his last two. Ran the quickest 400 and 600m of the entire day in the same event as Shapita. His racing pattern suggests he may slide too far back again.


The Velvet King
Festival Miss

Suggested Bet: 40 wins Shapita (7).


Race 6 - The Wizard’s Dream

Speed Map - Misty Metal (10) won’t try and change the winning tactics from her dominant Jungle Mist victory, but the arrival of South West galloper Prix D’Excellence (9) will make things awfully hard for her. She will likely have to race outside of this mare over the less suitable 1400m.

Fontainebleau (1) has the early speed to hold Prix D’Excellence’s back with Aconite (2) and Pearls Of Prawns (4) both drawn to box seat. Celebrity Dream (6) will settle midfield with stablemates Showcase (5) and Sally’s Realm (8). Private Dancer (7) will be alongside them.

Race Overview - Misty Metal beat a near identical field by 2.75 lengths a fortnight ago. The conditions of this race do change, but that margin and dominance in that victory needs to be respected. I do think she will struggle to step up to the 1400m successfully unless railing again and I suspect the connections of Prix D’Excellence will have no intentions of coming all the way up from Albany to give the star mare a soft lead.

Celebrity Dream completely jumps off the page here. Has been dominant in the fillies and mares races for some time now and under the set weights and penalties of these events, is always well in. The barrier draw could not have been any better, which should allow her to settle midfield. She will be hard to hold out late.

Pearls And Prawns was an absolute horror show first up. Damian Lane was stuck three and four deep throughout on a track where the rail was the place to be. In the end the margin of defeat could be a sign this horse is going well, she boxed on admirably. It is good to see Lane retain the ride and Brock Lewthwaite did mention before her first up run, that this was her grand final. Let’s see how good she is.

Sally’s Dream, Private Dancer and Royal Missile all ran nice races a fortnight ago, while Aconite put in the sharpest 200m of the event. From barrier 13 to 2 here, with the ability to race on speed, is this one who could get under everybodies guard? The $14 a place currently available suggests so.

Very happy sticking with Pike here.


Celebrity Dream
Pearls And Prawns
Misty Metal

Suggested Bet: 80 wins Celebrity Dream (1).


Race 7 - Perth Cup Prelude

Speed Map - On paper this race does look to have that a real lack of tempo. Let’s hope Dean Yendall rolls them along with Cappo D’Oro (barrier 7) likely to take up the running. Royal Star (8) was ridden forward last time out with limited success and it’d be no surprise for the tactics to be altered on her. In saying that with noted sit and sprint stablemates, Mississippi Delta (1) and Action (6) entered, Bob might opt for the same tactics knowing she would be unable to sprint those two. Prize Catch (3) will race on top of the speed while the aforementioned Mississippi Delta will probably hold a spot on the leaders back alongside Elegant Blast (4). The way this race will be run it probably ends up being the spot to be. Action naturally gets back regardless of the draw.

Race Overview - Mississippi Delta stamped herself a live Perth Cup hope with a dominant listed win in the Tattersals Cup. Without taking anything away from her, the win doesn’t exactly have outstanding form lines running through it, with recent class three victor at Northam, Blue Tracer running second and First Affair, who hadn’t had a run in eight weeks, finishing third. She still brained them however.

Action is the best horse in this race. This is a horse who takes 1500m to warm up and then just needs galloping room. He didn’t get that room in the RJ Peters before he was completely ran off his legs in a frenetic Railway Stakes. Neither were run to suit. The lack of tempo could well be in his favour here, we only need to go back to last years WATC Derby to see how dominant he can be. While Pike has opted to ride Mississippi Delta in this event, which is more than understandable, I suspect he’ll be riding Action to victory in the Perth Cup. Galaxy Star won’t be going to a Perth Cup with 60kg’s with an All-Star Mile in her sights.

Elegant Blast will be a big improver here. Was never in the race before being poleaxed at her most recent outing. Before that she was placed 12 starts in a row. I’ve seen a lot worse bets than the $3.90 on offer for her to start that placing streak over.

Now that I’ve tipped him for a Perth Cup, I’m going to put him on top, but this might be one run short for Action, with Mississippi Delta mapped well and the fitter of the two. Might be worth taking a look at the futures markets before this event with Action, Mississippi Delta and even Cappo D’Oro likely to be the up and coming ‘weighted’ horses in a months time.


2 Action
5 Mississippi Delta
6 Cappo D’Oro
9 Elegant Blast

Suggested Bet: No bet.


Race 8 - Queen Of The West

Speed Map - Trap For Fools (barrier 10) and Great Shot (5) would have had an eye on each other’s draw here, with Craig Staples drawing first blood in the battle of the pacemakers. While Great Shot would be expected to kick up and utilise the good draw, I can see the camp considering taking a sit on Trap For Fools back and soften the 1800m blow - the distance is a stretch for a 1400-1600m specialist. Some fancies drew brilliant gates here with Material Man (2) and Arcadia Queen (6) both capable of using their early speed to hold spots right behind the pace. Achernar Star (1), Gatting (3) and Perfect Jewel (4) are no mugs out of the gates and should settle in the first eight.

The rest drawn wider will be battling to find a spot on speed with so much tactical speed drawn underneath them. It’ll take smart rides on Mister Sea Wolf (12), Heart Starter (11), Iconoclasm (8) and Holy Snow (9) to get the right run. Galaxy Star (14) will go back near last with Prying Tom (15).

Race Overview - The barrier draw has been extremely kind to several of the fancied runners with Material Man, probably again best suited by the draw. A huge effort carrying top weight in the Railway Stakes first up, the WFA conditions of this event suit him more than others. It’s hard to see any of those who finished behind him (besides perhaps Perfect Jewel) being capable of turning the tables on him.

Arcadia Queen is clearly the horse to beat. Three year olds have a phenomenal record in this race. In the last 10 years, just over 10% of runners entered have been three year olds, but they’ve won the race 4 times in that period. The weight for age scale of this event is completely in their favour. When you get one out of the box like Arcadia Queen, it is hard not to get excited about her. It would have been a far easier riding decision than William Pike let on. The great strength Arcadia Queen has brought to her racing at her last two starts, is early tactical speed. With only 50kg’s and a motor under you, thats a lethal combination. She is awfully hard to beat here.

Trap For Fools is my knock for the day. Do not like afterthoughts, do not like concussion plates and I do not like a horse renowned for being tough going down in distance. I think he’ll be beaten quicker than Anthony Mundine.

Galaxy Star is currently on the fifth line of betting for the All-Star mile next year. Her win in the Railway was out of this world, aided by a William Pike special. She loses little with Chris Parnham going on, but she is going to be given an almighty task from barrier 14.

Perfect Jewel was arguably an equally good run as the Railway Stakes winner. It was a major form reversal. I think with the better draw, she can beat home the better credentialled stablemate.

Long Live The Queen.


Arcadia Queen
Material Man
Perfect Jewel
Galaxy Star

Suggested Bet: 100 wins Arcadia Queen (15).


Race 9 - Til Next Year

Speed Map - Blackline (barrier 8) should lead them up here in a race that doesn’t have a great deal of exposed speed. Miracle Man (10) was expected to roll forward last start, but was restrained shortly after the start. I dare say the tactics will be to go forwar, but Pike did make the right decision at his last outing. Hard to beat if finding the outside of Blackline with minimal fuss and can still win if restrained and asked for an effort late. Versatile animal.

Astronomite (1) settles on Blackline’s back with Dark Prospect (5), Taxagano (4) and Like A Butterfly (3) all holding spots midfield. Queen Bey (9) comes from last.

Race Overview - Not an event which really befits the series of racing we’ve just had. I’m going to be guided by the logical speed map and the runner which does appear to be the best suited by that map and put Astronomite on top. He was first up for new trainer Liz Strempel at his most recent outing when towing up the third lot of runners for the majority of the race. Showed real toughness to keep coming late considering he hadn’t had a run in over a month. Fitter here, gets the back of Blackline on what should be a steadier tempo and is a horse who raced without luck for most of his time under previous trainer Martin Allan. Let’s go big in the last.

Dark Prospect is flying and the 1800m does look the perfect journey. Has been up a long time and I suspect this field is a little sharper than the one he defeated last time out. Miracle Man is more than capable while Like A Butterfly raced flat as a biscuit last time out. Oliver and blinkers could sharpen her up. Queen Bey will be flooding late, but may find the 1800m too short.

Astronomite is $16 in the early markets. Would be a nice way to farewell a cracking Master Series.


Miracle Man
Dark Prospect

Suggested Bet: 30 wins and 30 places Astronomite (6).

4 Comments | 2 years ago

Recent Comments

User choc

choc 06 Dec | Posts: 755

Like A Butterfly won't be getting any more of mine. It's in the sack file. Itís a get on for mine, under the old adage of always forgiving them one run. Up to 1800 - tick Blinkers applied - tick tick Oliver on for J Whiting - 50 ticks Draws kindly again...

User TheFunkster

TheFunkster 06 Dec | Posts: 3748

Happy with the $5.75 (odds boost) I got on Arcadia Queen prior to Pike's decision. Material Man maps well.Private Dancer looks huge overs, given the price of Celebrity Dream & Misty Metal. The 1400 certainly more to her liking and will strip a lot fitter f...


H-BOMBER 06 Dec | Posts: 8389

Wow $14 Pearl Trade must have gone quickly

User jum

jum 06 Dec | Posts: 2785