Below are the last Nineteen winners of this excellent mile race which is always one of my favourites on the Australian calendar. Hence the preview, which is always a tough ask!
2019 REGAL POWER (13) 53kg
2018 GALAXY STAR 6M (2) 53kg
2017 GREAT SHOT 5G (8) 53.5kg
2016 SCALES OF JUSTICE 4G (8) 53kg
2015 GOOD PROJECT 4H (11) 53kg
2014 ELITE BELLE 6M (12) 53.5kg
2013 LUCKYGRAY 6G (12) 58kg
2012 MR MOET 5G (4) 53.5KG
2011 LUCKYGRAY 4G (12) 53KG
2010 GATHERING 4G (6) 52KG
2009 SNIPER’S BULLET 6G (12) 56.5KG
2008 GILDED VENOM 4G (9) 52KG
2007 EL PRESIDENTE 4G (4) 55.5KG
2006 BELLE BIZARRE 5M (6) 54KG
2005 COVERTLY 4M (2) 51KG
2004 MODEM 6G (7) 55KG
2003 HARDRADA 4G (13) 54KG (Race staged at Belmont).
2002 OLD FASHION 5G (1) 54.5KG
2001 OLD COMRADE 4G (8) 53.5KG
2000 NORTHERLY 4G (12) 51KG
These are the most pertinent historical statistics;
- 14/18 have carried less than 55.5kg to win, and 14/16 carried less than 56.5kg. 2007 winner El Presidente carried 55.5kg but was only 0.5kg over the minimum that year. 9 of the last 10 winners have carried 53.5kg or less. The only one not too was the dual winner Luckygray in 2011 and 2013, He had also run second in 2012 carrying 58kg.Nine of the last Ten winners have carried 53.5kg or less to win.
- 16/18 dropped in weight from their prior start, and 14/16 didn’t rise in weight. The average weight drop over this period is roughly 3kg. No horse has won rising more than 1kg off it’s last start
- 13/18 have been either 4 or 5 years of age, and only 2 horses have won beyond 6 years of age since 1989. 4yo’s have won 10 of the last 20, and 17 of the past 39.
- The Lee Steere Classic and RJ Peters Stakes have produced 11 of the past 18 winners. Of the others- Mr Moet was first up. Sniper’s Bullet, Gathering and Good Project came via Melbourne through albeit different races, and Luckgray, Galaxy Star and Regal Power came through the Asian Beau Stakes so it’s two winners in a row coming out of that race with the same trainer/Owner.
- 16/18 placed in the first 4 at their prior start, and all bar one of those has been a WA galloper. 28 winners since 1985 finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd at their prior start. Stick with an in form galloper! 2 of the 3 Eastern States winners in recent times were well beaten at their previous start (Sniper’s Bullet & Gathering)
- 11/17 have won from barriers 1-9, and 17/18 from barriers 1-13. Oddly six of the past Twelve winners have come out of barrier 11,12, and 13 (four from barrier 12) as did Northerly in 2000. Providing the horse has the early pace to get across to lead, or be on the pace early a wide barrier is no disadvantage, the perfect example being Good Project winning in 2015. Either that or your horse needs to drop out to the tail early (Luckygray twice, and Elite Belle). Caught midfield off a wide barrier here is almost always fatal, and getting the speed map right for this race is crucial
- 4 of the past 18 winners had run in this race in one of the past two years. 3 of those had been runner up.
- 6 of the past 9 winners have come from a midfield or worse position to win, which is a total reversal for this race which was largely dominated by on pace horses (or those sitting on pace to midfield) in the decade prior.
- 16/18 had raced in Perth at some stage before winning. Gathering in 2010, and Good Project in 2015 are the only one’s not to have done so. Gathering got a soft lead off a very suitable (for him) 27 day break leading in, and GP also raced right on the pace.
- Only 3 Stallions had won the race in the past 27 years. Good Project broke the drought in 2015, with the previous being Island Morn in 1994.
- Average winning price is around $10 and that is consistent with results over more than a 20 year period.
- Only 4 mares have won in the past 18 years, and all three have been aged 5 to 6.The positive is that two have won in the past six editions, both 6 year old mares from the same stable and owned by Bob Peters (famous pink and white).
- 3 of the past 15 winners (but 3 of last 11) have come from the Eastern States. All have been Sydney trained and came out of a last start Spring carnival run in Melbourne. And all have been on pace runners.
Summing up the ideal historical candidate would be;4 to 6 years of age, B) finished in the first 4 placings last start, C) Carrying less than 55.5kg and preferably less than 53.5kg D) Coming from a barrier no wider than 13, E) had alead up run in the Lee Steere, RJ Peters or Asian Beau (more recently) and F) be dropping in weight preferably 2.5kg or more. G) Preferably be a Gelding or Mare. Finding one with all these pre requisites at close to or at a double figure quote would be ideal.
It does appear that the race has enough pace in it to suggest a truly run affair with the likes of Gailo Chop, Too Close The Sun, Red Can Man, Great Shot and Dance Music (probably sits just off pace) engaged. Of those mentioned RCM and Great Shot have more options having drawn in closer. TCTS and GC are going to have to burn some fuel early to cross the others. If not the risk is they get caught too wide and ruin their chances. That should set the race up for a midfield backmarker type to swoop home late.
Looking at the historical info, it would seem we have three clear chances in RED CAN MAN, TOO CLOSE THE SUN & INSPIRATIONAL GIRL. I’m not entirely confident the race is going to be run to script this year though. Had a very well credentialed Eastern States horse come here in winning form it might have been a case of the trophy going in that direction. As it is we still have two realistic hopes coming from that direction in the shape of KEMENTARI and GAILO CHOP. Both have run here in the past which should be a bonus. Neither horse has won a race since March 2018. In the case of Kementari it does seem almost longer than that to be honest.
I don’t want to go too in depth here but do want to present a few facts on those I give a winning chance to;
- KEMENTARI is much maligned which is understandable given his propensity to not win. If he lived up to his looks he would win any race and the reports are he is absolutely gleaming right now and is enjoying his new environment. Swap the runs between he and the winner Kay Cee at his first start here two weeks ago and he probably wins that race (assuming he had the ticker!). Barrier 1 could be a massive asset for him providing he can utilise it at the right time. Historically it’s a no, but this isn’t the hardest edition of this race and his best form would certainly win it. The addition of a Tongue Tie could also bolster his chances. He has only worn one once which resulted in a four length win. I hate backing topweighted horses in handicaps, and he has to give some weight away to horses he met last start, but if he gets all favours and is in the mood, he can win. I’m struggling to understand the $15 available as he seems a better hope than that to me. I’d have him at half that price $7.50.
3. GAILO CHOP– I’m giving him a hope merely on his run two starts back and his overall class. He seems very well in with 57kg with only 4kg over the limit weight. His trial win here recently was excellent in a decent time and he does meet the mare Kay Cee 8kg better for a 0.65L defeat in the Kingston Town (1800m) here last year. Yes she is a year older which is fair enough but I still feel it’s worth mentioning. He only needs to repeat that effort to be competitive here. Being ten years old and drawing so wide do seem negatives though. I’d rate him at about a $16 chance but he is twice that on one betting chart I saw just now. I did utilise a Free Bet on him @ $26 and now I’m wishing I’d waited.
4. KAY CEE– I’m actually risking her in this meeting the likes of Red Can Man and Platoon so much worse off at the weights for last start, and she meets Kementari on similar terms. And historically a 4yo mare carrying 56kg to win looks a very big ask. Had she drawn better them maybe you’d have to seriously consider her as the winner but that isn’t the case. The fact she is suited by the distance is a bonus though, and it’s hard to say she cannot win. For me she is unders though and I’d price her @ $8.50.
6. TAXAGANO– I wouldn’t say a definite no to his chances but he needs to find a few lengths. At the weights he doesn’t look too badly off and perhaps the back up last time didn’t suit. He does meet Kay Cee 1.5kg better for beating her three starts back and 3.5kg better off for a 2.87L defeat behind her last start. One for Multi Players perhaps. $25
8. RED CAN MAN– Does looks a great chance at the weights meeting Kay Cee some 5kg better for two narrow defeats in the past twelve months or so. A 6kg weight drop surely helps him here, and he shouldn’t have to do too much work from a good barrier. It could be argued he has been a little disappointing of late, but on the other hand he has been consistent and has had a great preparation. My biggest concern for him is the distance as he reminds me a bit of The Velvet King last year who seems to just lack the class to win at this distance against this class of horse. Kay Cee does seem to have the upper hand on him at a mile and Inspirational Girl also finished all over the top of him two starts ago over 1400m. I know The Winterbottom (1200m) was another option for him too but at WFA he might struggle in that race. A 1400m handicap with this weight would have been perfect, as would a bit less pace in this race. He is definitely a winning chance but I think the current price of around $9 is about right for him.
11. INSPIRATIONAL GIRL– She looks the one to beat with her 8/10 strike rate, current form, historical references and from a good barrier, with William Pike aboard. The pace of the race should suit her and she is 2/2 at this track and distance. I also like the fact she has been savaging the line in two recent wins which is also a good sign. Red Can Man meets her 2kg better for close to a length defeat but I feel she has him covered her with ordinary luck at the extra distance. And given that form reference I think she probably has Kay Cee covered too carrying 3kg less. Noticeably she has missed the start at her past two outings which is some concern, and her class could be slightly questionable. I can’t quite have her as short as $3.60, but I’d put her up as a $4 favourite and the most likely winner off a good preparation.
13. PLATOON– He ran a blinder in this last year running third coming in off a slightly better (and longer) preparation. There was nothing wrong with his first up run when well weighted (I was on at a big price) but then he was safely held at WFA last start. The 6kg weight drop helps because he isn’t a huge horse and a wider barrier might (similar to last year) should too. He boasts a win over Regal Power in his younger days and a 1 length second to Arcadia Queen also which is winning form for this. The negative is he can be a bit unreliable. This might be a shade easier race to win than last year so he could provide somewhat of a shock, and unlike Red Can Man (who beat him last start) he is proven at the distance. $9 is my price but you can do better than that.
14. TOO CLOSE THE SUN– No doubting he is a very good horse(super winning strike rate) and he has backed up off a 7 day break to win before. He does come into his off an obscure win over 1800m though which has historical precedent, and is yet to win below 1700. Having said that he nearly beat the favourite for this first up two starts ago at 1400m. His Dam won an Oaks and a Derby her winning 5 from 12 and he is a half bother to the Mackinnon Stakes winner Trap For Fools. He has drawn a bit awkwardly here and was entitled to win last week on the wet track but he did win with consumate ease there and can easily win this with the right run. Given his toughness and now superior fitness he could also overcome covering extra ground and win this. Hard to deny him as a leading chance here and I’d price him @ $6.50. At the moment he looks a bit under the odds given the other pace he might have to contend with up front.
15. TRULY GREAT– Here is another horse with an outstanding winning strike rate who looked awesome winning last week. He has also won backing up off a 7 day break in the past. He probably didn’t beat much last week though and it appears Chris Parnham has jumped off to ride Kementari. Couple that with a very wide barrier draw (too wide?) and his chances have probably taken a hit. William Pike would also have had the option to ride him too, although that decision was probably taken a few weeks ago. I still think he could win though given the right run in transit and definitely deserves serious place consideration. His price is probably realistic at present given the negatives around him. $12.
I’m with 1. INSPIRATION GIRL who has so much in her favour, though admittedly the value around her is questionable. Perhaps I’m being a little greedy in demanding $4? I’ll put 2. Kementari in for second purely from a value perspective and that gear change. 3. Platoon may well run a place again at shorter odds this year and 4. Too Close The Sun has an undeniable chance but might be slightly unders at the moment. Red Can Man is a must for multis though and Gailo Chop could be the big surprise packet at juicy odds. Hard to have him in my top four chances though from where he has drawn.