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!
2021 WESTERN EMPIRE (3) 53kg
2020 INSPIRATIONAL GIRL (8) 53kg
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;
- 16/20 have carried less than 55.5kg to win, and 16/18 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.Eleven of the last Twelve winners have carried 53.5kg or less to win.
- 18/20 dropped in weight from their prior start, and 16/18 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
- 15/20 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 11 of the last 22, and 18 of the past 41.
- The Lee Steere Classic and RJ Peters Stakes have produced 13 of the past 20 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, Regal Power, Ispirational Girl and Western Empire came through the Asian Beau Stakes so it’s four winners in a row coming out of that race with the same trainer/Owner.
- 18/20 placed in the first 4 at their prior start, and all bar one of those has been a WA galloper. 30 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)
- 13/19 have won from barriers 1-9, and 19/20 from barriers 1-13. Oddly six of the past Fourteen 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 20 winners had run in this race in one of the past two years. 3 of those had been runner up.
- 7of the past 10 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.
- 18/20 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 29 years. Good Project broke the drought in 2015, with the previous being Island Morn in 1994.
- Average winning price is around $9 and that is consistent with results over more than a 20 year period.
- Only 5 mares have won in the past 20 years, and allhave been aged 5 to 6. The positive is that four have won in the past eight editions, from the same stable and owned by Bob Peters (famous pink and white).
- 3 of the past 17 winners 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.
RESORTMAN– He is having his eighth run in a fruitful preparation but he is yet to race past 1400m which is a little bit odd. He ran on resolutely late in the Lee Steere but meets Karli’s Karma 2kg worse for that effort. 57kg and first run at a mile has me risking him (none of his siblings have won beyond 1400m) and I’m not sure the inside barrier is much of an advantage to him. He goes well on any surface though so a wet track is no problem for him.
YONKERS– He is a good traveller with his interstate sojourns reaping 4 wins and 4 placings from 13 races. When you consider four of those defeats were on unsuitable Heavy tracks it’s no surprise to see him in Perth contesting this event. Last start he was only a length or so behind Hezashocka who then went on to run a super second to Zaaki in the Mackinnon. That formline says he is definitely good enough to win this race and he looks quite well in at the weights. He also ran third to Numerian in Brisbane and that horse was just over a length away in the Caulfield Cup recently. Back to a mile here is unprecedented for him in a preparation (has won 20000m-1800m two years ago) but trainer Chris Waller has a good record in this race. The barrier draw did look a worry for him but now that the track is rain affected it ‘s probably not such an issue. He doesn’t like Heavy going but his last win was on a Soft 6 and he was good two starts ago on a Soft 7. His price does look overs in what might be a weakish edition.
GOD HAS CHOSEN- He looks to be really struggling for form and the wide barrier makes it nearly impossible for him against this lineup. He does handle any type of surface though.
KAPTAIN KAOS– Another local that is struggling for form rihgtnow but he has drawn well, Blinkers go on first time, and he is 3/4 third up. Seems harshly weighted against some of these but he will run the distance. The wet track is probably a bonus for him.
MAROCCHINO– In winning form and one of the likely leaders who has drawn a bit wide. Interesting that Willie Pike had ridden four times for four wins and Chris Parnham is two from two aboard. Jason Whiting has ridden him Twenty Five times for one win! At least he knows the horse well I guess. Might give a bit of cheek up front but his form seems best when his runs aren’t so spaced. A wet track looks beneficial given his 4/11 record.
COMFORT ME- Placed in this race last year but doesn’t seen to be in the same form this time around. Horribly drawn so it’s hard to see him figuring at all.
ALASKAN GOD– He was the star three year old in the Autumn and comes in as favourite. I have to say I have a query on him from the wide barrier in this class. As good a lead in race as the Asian Beau has been in recent years, I’m not quite sure the race is as good a guide this year. A couple in the race were unlucky in a blanket finish, namely Devoted and Searchin’ Rocs. The former is an emergency here and the latter fell in last week in the RJ Peters with Devoted an unlucky third. He profiles very similarly to Regal Power who won this in 2020. Looking back at his Derby and Melvista wins that year RP ran over a second quicker in both (similar track ratings) than AG and RP’s last 600m in the Derby was 1.5 seconds quicker. Potentially he is probably the best horse in the race but it’s so hard to win from where he is drawn, and there are enough negatives for me to work around him. The distance is another being probably short of his best and he is an unknow on wet ground (Siblings no good on it).
BUSTER BASH– Hard fit and a likely leader who is facing his acid test. He won his last start from a similar barrier. You can make some sort of a case for him given he beat a horse called Crescent City two starts back conceding him 4kg. CC beat home Karli’s Karma last preparation at level weights. His career win read 8/20 but he hasn’t from from 8 starts first and second up. Otherwise he is 8-3/12 which is quite a revelation. Backing up off seven days he is 1/1. He has a fitness edge on quite a few horses here and will give some cheek up front with this weight dropping 2.5kg.
IRONCLAD– Interstate visitor who looks up to winning this. When drawn in the first half of the field he has won his last four start. Seven of his last Eleven runs have been from barriers in the second half of the field and he hasn’t won any of them. Last week appears to be a decent barrier trial for this when he had no chance from tailed off last, but he ran on well. The trainer says he is a confidence horse and thinks he is doing well enough in that department to have a crack here. The query is the seven day backup and a very wet track. He gets through wet going but is more effective on dry it seems. He has drawn to advantage, and I think that will enable him to sit just behind the leaders which is his best racing pattern and suited to this race. He does seem outstanding value at better than double figures.
KARLI’S KARMA– I’m biased here because she is my favourite horse out west. Particularly after she won first up eariler this year as the 20-1 outsider in a seven horse field. Her form plateaued a bit toward the end of that preparation but since joining the Sumner Dickson stable she has found quite a few lengths. Last start she probably needed the run off a months break (missed a run in the Asian Beau as an emergency), yet she nearly ran down the leader late, probably peaking on her run off that break. The time was superior to the Asian Beau (though different days) and Notorious One confirms that to be true I feel. He was unlucky in that race when beaten less than two lengths, but he couldn’t get within five lengths of KK in the Lee Steere. She should be better served fitness wise for the Lee Steere but the query is the last 100m of a mile. She maps beautifully in this race so if she runs the distance out she can definitely win. Doing that now on a wettish track seems more unlikely. Her two runs on wet tracks haven’t been good enough BUT she is a better horse now and the track might dry out enough for her.
LAST OF THE LINE– He is a horse with a lot of ability and he can reverse the result form last week against Searchin’ Rocs with a 5kg weight swing. He was horrendously weighted last week but ran as well as could be expected albeit suited by the pattern of the day. His wide barrier is a massive problem here though and a wet track doesn’t look his forte.
NOTORIOUS ONE– Enigmatic galloper who was well beaten in this race last year, although only two and half lengths behind the runner up. The stable is adamant he is going better than this time last year though and the Blinkers go on. Given that scenario he is 2-1/3 when applied/reapplied in the past. A wet track is almost certainly a bonus too, and the barrier definitely is. If Alaskan God and TOTT are mid $4 chances then how is he going around at $71? There doesn’t look to be anything between them going on the runs in the Asian Beau.
SEARCHIN’ ROC’S– She was unlucky in the Asian Beau and made amends last week in the RJ Peters when given a peach of a ride on a biased track. You can only win though and she has great wet track stats and the mile distance is favourable. from inside barriers (1-6) she is 6-1/8. From wider than barrier 6 she is 1-1/6 so the gods have smiled on her again this week as was the case seven days ago. This is her first go on a seven day backup and if the inside isn’t ‘off” she should give herself every chance of winning. $11 is good value.
STARTRADE- He has been a revelation this preparation and particularly last start. He hasn’t won here from three starts and hasn’t won beyond 1400m. And does that last start say more about the opposition than anything else? He has drawn well though and handles any going. And he is hard fit. Going around at $35 and has form comparable to the two favourites.
TREASURED STAR– WA Guineas winner and that is good form for this. Also the Cerise and White have won this the past four years with William Pike aboard out of the same lead up race. On that factor alone she looks the winner but the barrier may have cruelled her chances. And she did only ‘fall in’ last start when things were in her favour, in what could be a suspect form race. She is possibly a query on a wet track also.
TRIX OF THE TRADE– He looks the logical favourite in the race given his current form strike rate, good barrier, and right lead up race. Historically he looks a ‘lock’ and his form on wet tracks is superior to most of this field, although he doesn’t necessarily prefer it. Again though I’m just querying the Asian Beau form a little in respect to value. He has the one win at 1600m and some decent form beyond it, but is a mile his best distance, or is 1400m better? He looks a very good chance but I’m going to risk him at the price.
Gee this tough now. With the wet track I’m not quite sure which way to go but I know I’ll be cheering Karli’s Karma for Summer Dickson and my early investment. Logically, analytically, and value wise I’m choosing around her though. The local form could be a little suspect so perhaps the two interstate horses get their chance. Those barrier stats swing me to the Victorian IRONCLAD and I just hope he handles the travel, wet track, and the backup. Better than double figures is good enough value for me. YONKERS probably won’t get a better opportunity to win a G1 race and his price is also generous. There are many other chances worth a mention, but the two at massive odds nobody is giving a chance too are Buster Bash and Notorious One. Searchin’ Roc’s looks good value in comparison to the two favourites.