A capacity field of stayers are accepted to face off this Saturday, January 2, in the Perth Cup 2016 field at Ascot Racecourse in Western Australia.
Sixteen confirmed starters plus four emergencies make up the field for the $500,000 Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m), one of the highlights of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival, the weights for which are topped by the Grant Williams-trained favourite Delicacy.
The four-year-old Al Maher mare has to set a new weight carrying record to salute for the punters in the mile and a half handicap but is short-priced favourite in Perth Cup betting to make the history books this weekend.
Winner of the Group 1 SA Oaks – Derby double at Morphettville back in May, she returned to the winners’ stall on December 19 with a one and a half length win in the Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m).
Perth’s leading hoop William Pike was aboard for that lead-up win but has opted to ride stablemate Neverland at the lighter weight in Saturday’s rematch.
Delicacy carried 56kg to victory in the CB Cox Stakes but goes up to 59kg on the weekend, her Group 1 winning jockey in Adelaide Peter Hall back aboard on Perth Cup Day.
Neverland meanwhile is also prepared by the Karnup-based Williams and races for Bob & Sandra Peters.
Owner-breeder Bob Peters rates the four-year-old daughter of Big Brown his winning hope in this year’s Perth Cup following his success with Real Love 12 months ago.
Neverland comes off a second in last Wednesday’s Listed A.T.A. Stakes (2200m) at the track, and while she only has winning form up to 1500m Peters is confident she can see out a strong 2400m this weekend with Pike staying on.
ATA Stakes winning eight-year-old Helenus mare Bedamijo also gets the chance to step up in class and take out the Perth Cup in an upset with Shaun O’Donnell continuing his association with the 50-start veteran.
Peters meanwhile also has the defending Perth Cup winner Real Love, the Adam Durrant-trained Desert King mare coming off a CB Cox Stakes fourth, and stablemate Respondent who was fourth in the ATA Stakes in the mix on Saturday to be ridden by Glenn Smith and Chris Parnham respectively.
Real Love is the second heaviest weighted galloper in the Perth Cup field with 57kg while another mare, Balmont Girl, is the only other runner weighted above the 54kg minimum with 56kg.
Other notable Perth Cup final acceptors include CB Cox Stakes 10th placed six-year-old Kirov Boy, the Colin Webster-trained Danehill Express four-year-old Properantes and last start Tattersall’s Cup winner Dubai Escapade.
The 2016 Perth Cup barrier draw takes place shortly so stay tuned.
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2015 Perth Cup Final Field
Ascot Racecourse – 02/01/2016
|1||DELICACY||59||106||PETER HALL||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|2||REAL LOVE||57||102||GLENN SMITH||ADAM DURRANT|
|3||BALMONT GIRL||56||100||PATRICK CARBERY||PAULA WAGG|
|4||ASK ME NICELY (NZ)||54||87||SHAUN MC GRUDDY||FRED KERSLEY|
|5||BEDAMIJO||54||81||SHAUN O’DONNELL||TARA ITZSTEIN|
|6||DARK MUSKET||54||77||JASON WHITING||GRAEME BALLANTYNE|
|7||DUBAI ESCAPADE||54||90||LUCY WARWICK||JUSTIN WARWICK|
|8||DUST ME OFF||54||86||BRAD PARNHAM||PAUL TAPPER|
|9||FULGUR (GB)||54||87||STEVEN PARNHAM||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
|10||KIROV BOY||54||94||DANNY MILLER||ARTHUR MORTIMER|
|11||NEVERLAND||54||84||WILLIAM PIKE||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|12||PROPERANTES||54||83||TROY TURNER||COLIN WEBSTER|
|13||RESPONDENT||54||92||CHRIS PARNHAM||ADAM DURRANT|
|14||SAVANAROLA||54||78||JARRAD NOSKE||DARREN MC AULIFFE|
|15||TOWER OF LONHRO||54||96||JOSEPH AZZOPARDI||ADAM DURRANT|
|16||WOODSVILLE||54||88||JERRY NOSKE||JEFF NOSKE|
|17e||OPERATIONAL||54||79||PETER KNUCKEY||FRED KERSLEY|
|18e||COUGAR EXPRESS||54||73||SHAUN MEERES||LINDSEY SMITH|
|19e||SAXON SAXOFF||54||67||TBA||KEVIN GREEN|
|20e||THE LADIES CHOICE||54||68||TBA||MARK WRIGHT|