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Kingston Town Classic Tips 2017: History points to a clear winner

  • Who will win the Ascot Group feature?

The final Group 1 race for calendar year, the Kingston Town Classic, takes place at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday, where 15 hopefuls will battle for $1 million in prizemoney.

Traditionally, the Railway Stakes (1600m) is the best lead-up race with eight of the past 13 Kingston Town winners coming through the Railway.

In 2017, nine of the 15 entrants come through the Railway, and while there were a few eye-catching runs in the race for varying reasons, Black Heart Bart has to be a clear pick of the lot based on a few key factors.

The Darren Weir-trained son of Blackfriars was coming into the Railway off an eight-week break, had to cover ground three wide with a trail while carrying top weight of 59kg and was narrowly beaten in a photo finish. 

That run would have tightened him right up, he won’t be getting caught wide from barrier 1, and he now meets his last start victor 5.5kg better at the weights.

He also meets every other runner from the Railway better at the weights, and considering no horse endured a tougher run or had significant room for improvement, he should have them all covered.


However, the two Railway runners I’m giving some hope to are Material Man and Pounamu.

Material Man worked early to sit up on the speed and was outgunned late to finish .75 of a length away in 5th.

He peaked fourth-up last campaign when posting a 2.25-length victory over Zarantz in the Bunbury Cup (2200m) where he carried 2.5kg more than his previous start, was three wide without cover early and had to go around them and take up the running before kicking strongly to win.

He goes up 6kg on his last run, but with another forward showing from barrier 6, he can battle away and potentially place at nice odds.

Pounamu finished 1.75 lengths from Great Shot in the Railway, but he was snagged back to near last to try and find cover, and he was also held up on the turn and couldn’t get into the race at the right time.

He was clearly doing his best work late, and with the benefit of that second-up run, and a bit more luck in running this time, he can also charge home to finish in the placings.

Pounamu ran 1:48.89 when winning the Detonator Stakes (1800m) at Ascot last summer, and that time was good enough to have won six of the past seven renewals of the Kingston Town.

Admittedly, he carried 55kg on that occasion and has to carry 59kg on Saturday, but he’s got more upside than most and has to be included in multiples.

Looking away from the Railway form, It’s Somewhat brings strong form through the Emirates Stakes (2000m), but from barrier 11 of 15, I’ve got him getting caught wide and don’t think he can afford to cover extra ground and beat Black Heart Bart.

Three-year-olds have a good record in this race, and in 2017, A trio of youngsters come through the WA Guineas (1600m).

Of them, the filly, Perfect Jewel, whose full-sister Royal Star also goes around in the same race, was most impressive.

She covered more ground that the runner-up Achernar Star, and she was full of running as they crossed the line.

She stopped the clock at 1:36.62 which is approximately five lengths slower than the Railway which was run in 1:35.81, but with 5kg less on Saturday, she should also figure in the finish.

For mine, Black Heart Bart ticks every box and should be winning his sixth Group 1 race, while Material Man, Pounamu, It’s Somewhat and Perfect Jewel go into the multiples.

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Kingston Town Classic Tips 2017: History points to a clear winner

Expert preview and tips for the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Perth’s Ascot Racecourse on Saturday, December 9.

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