The Kingston Town Stakes (1800m) is one of three Group 1 races for the calendar year in Perth and is also the last race of the year at the highest level in Australia.
The $1 million weight-for-age race has been won by some quality gallopers in the past including Kingston Town, Vo Rogue and Better Loosen Up.
Last year, it was the three-year-old, Arcadia Queen, that scored for the Grant and Alana Williams stable. The impressive youngster was sent to the Chris Waller stable this year. Pounamu (2017), Stratum Star (2016) Perfect Reflection (2015) and Moriarty (2014) are other recent winners
If we take a look at the history of the feature race since the year 2000, there are a few things to consider when it comes to finding a winner.
The Kingston Town Stakes has generally been a good one for punters, particularly in recent years with seven of the past 10 taken out by the race favourite.
10 of the past 13 winners have scored at odds of $6 or below. Arcadia Queen was a dominant $2.25 favourite when she won last year, while Perfect Reflection and Moriarty (2014) both lobbed as $4.50 favourite’s. Ihtsaymn landed as a second top pick at $4.25 in 2014. The shortest priced winner since 2000 is Luckygray, who scored at $2.25 in 2012.
2017 and 2018 saw a couple of minor upsets with Stratum Star winning as a $10 chance in 2016 before Pounamu landed at $21 in 2017.
Playing God ($21 in 2011), Early Express ($21 in 2005), True Steel ($26 in 2003) and Blevvo ($26 in 2002) are other gallopers to score above double figure odds since 2000.
This year, the Grant and Alana Williams stable will be out to do it again with another filly and this time it is Tuscan Queen that heads early markets at the $3.40 quote ahead of her stablemate, Regal Power.
The Godoplphin galloper, Best Of Days, is at $9, while two other Bob Peters owned contenders with the pink and white silks are in the market and they are Superstorm ($11) and Mississippi Delta ($13). Kay Cee, Pacodali, Gatting and Tally head the rest.
The ideal lead up form to the Kingston Town Stakes has traditionally been the Railway Stakes (1600m), held at Ascot a fortnight prior. Nine of the past 15 winners have come out of the Railway but only two of those have completed the double.
Five were placed in the Railway before going on to win the Kingston Town. They were Moriarty, Luckygray, Early Express and Niconero on two occasions. Sniper’s Bullet (2009) and Modem (2004) are the two to achieve the double.
This year, Regal Power won the Railway from Best Of Days and Platoon. Achernar Star was 4th. Tuscan Queen comes out of a Group 3 fillies race. Pacodali claimed the Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sandown this year at his last start.
If you are considering a wager on the latter, keep in mind that every Kingston Town winner this millennium has had their previous start in Perth, except for Stratum Star.
In this year’s Kingston Town Classic there are four gallopers that are aged three and they are Jericho Missile, Superstorm, Kay See and tuscan Queen. .
The youngsters have a solid record, prevailing on six occasions since 2000 and the most recent of those was Ardcadia Queen last year. Perfect Reflection in 2015 is another filly to win the race in recent times and was also trained by the Williams’.
They are the most successful trainer’s in the Kingston Town this millennium alongside David Hayes, Neville Parnham and Noel Lamey with two wins apiece. Lamey trained Old Comrade to victory in 2000 and 2001 before Lindsey Smith became the regular trainer of the former star galloper.
Of the hoops, multiple winners include Willy Pike, Paul Harvey, Steven Parnham and Brad Rawiler. They have shared 11 of the past 19 Kingston Town Stakes. Pike is on Tuscan Queen this year, while Harvey steers Achernar Star. Parnham will be aboard Kay Cee and Brad Rawiler rides Best Of Days.
Finally, it is worth noting that horses have been able to win from a wide variety of barriers. Sniper’s Bullet was able to win from barrier 16 in 2009, while Niconero won from 14 in 2008. The most successful gates to jump from have been 1, 2 and 10, with those positions accounting for seven of the 19 winners since 2000.
Selections based on trends:
The recent trends point to Tuscan Queen, however, over the long term it is hard to overlook the Railway form, with placegetters out of that race having a good record in the Kingston Town. Best Of Days meets a number of these better at the weights and can get the job done.