The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is winding down after what was an historic, albeit somewhat controversial, Melbourne Cup week. The attention now shifts to the Perth Spring Racing Carnival, headlined by their only three Group 1 races of the year - the Railway Stakes, Winterbottom Stakes and Kingston Town Classic.
The Group 3 WA Champion Fillies Stakes and the Group 3 R.J. Peters Stakes headline this weekend's card (14 November) and serves as a prelude to Day 1 of the Perth Spring Carnival: Super Saturday.
Super Saturday (21 November) consists of two Group 1 events - the Railways Stakes and Winterbottom Stakes - supported nicely by a lone Group 2 and four Listed races, making it the biggest day on the Perth Racing calendar. Day 2 of the Perth Spring Carnival is held on Saturday 5 December and is headlined by the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic. The card also features the Group 3 Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic and four other Listed races.
The Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes and the Listed Starstruck Classic are held on Saturday December 19, and the carnival concludes with the running of the Group 2 Perth Cup on the first Saturday in 2016.
Obviously with many of WA's top rated races being held so close together, we see all of WA's big guns compete on the same days, making it a carnival of real quality. Many play down the quality of horses in Perth but as we've seen over the last 6 months, horses from the West are becoming extremely competitive in the best races the Eastern States have to offer.
We only need to look back to the early months of this year when Delicacy went on a six race winning streak, starting with the 1000 Guineas at Ascot and finishing with dual Group 1 wins in Adelaide - the Australasian Oaks and the South Australian Derby.
Black Heart Bart went on a four race winning streak before starting favourite in the Group 1 Goodwood at Morphettville where he finished an unlucky 4th.
More recently, both Kia Ora Koutou and Disposition have proved ultra competitive at the very top level in Victoria. After starting his career with four straight victories, Kia Ora Koutou ran a very unlucky 3rd in the Group 1 Victoria Derby. 2014 Kingston Town Classic runner up Disposition claimed a Listed race and a Group 3 race, and ran consecutive 2nd's in two Group 1 races - the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and the Toorak Handicap.
Delicacy, Black Heart Bart and Disposition are all nominated for both the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic and the Group 1 Railway Stakes, where they will meet Real Love. The 2014 Perth Cup winner returned from a spell with an impressive win in the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes over 1400m, a distance clearly short of her best.
Though the Perth riches have lured a strong number of interstate competitors in recent years, 2015 looks set to be a year void of the same number of visitors. 2014 Winterbottom Stakes winner Buffering will be back to defend his title in the $1 million Sprint. David Hayes and Tom Dabernig will send Fast 'N' Rocking to compete in the same race, and will likely be joined by stablemate Extra Zero who will target the Kingston Town Classic and Cox Stakes if he is to come. German import Magic Artist, who ran 4th in both the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes and Group 1 Emirates Stakes, will line up in the $1 million Kingston Town Classic after missing out on an invitation to Hong Kong.
Despite the lack of numbers from over east, the quality of local horses in Western Australia is sure to make this Spring Carnival an absolute cracker. The prospect of Real Love, Disposition, Delicacy, Black Heart Bart and Magic Artist lining up against each other in the Kingston Town Classic on Saturday 5 December is extremely exciting and a massive boost to racing in the West.
We will be here at Before You Bet to cover every major race on the Perth Racing calendar over the duration of the Perth Spring Carnival!
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