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The C.B Cox Stakes is the feature race on the card at Ascot this weekend and with Flemington cancelled due to extreme heat, and only an average card at Rosehill, this race should draw plenty of attention.
Nine of the 11 runners lining up here come straight out of the Kingston Town Classic two weeks ago, where Perfect Reflection became the first ever 3YO filly to win the race, narrowly defeating stablemate Delicacy.
That makes Delicacy awfully hard to beat here, and punters haven't bothered waiting around, already crunching the mare into $1.50. The track two weeks ago was Heavy due to plenty of rain, but we're back on to a Good 3 this week with fine weather all week in Perth.
The tempo looks very slack here with Kirov Boy looking like the only one who could lead. That might mean we see Real Love go forward and lead as she did in last year's Perth Cup, but I'm not expecting a great tempo here.
Let's take a look at the runners:
EXTRA ZERO: Finished well back in the Kingston Town but he was no hope once the rain came. Step up to 2100m and back on to a firm track brings him right into contention here. The tempo looks against him but he can run a place.
BLACK HEART BART: Another one that was completely unsuited on the wet track last start so you can just put a line through his run. Back on to the firm track is the important thing for him, as well as his great barrier draw (2). The step up to 2100m is the big query for him. Expecting him to run well.
ASK ME NICELY: Didn't handle the soft track last start but even back on the firmer track he will struggle. He finished well beaten two starts ago over 2100m and up to 59kg makes his job even tougher.
TOWER OF LONHRO: His last two runs have been well below par. Perhaps stepping up to 2100m and back on to a firm track will help him but he doesn't look to be going well enough.
BASS STRAIT: Didn't handle the ground last start and is another that will be much better stepping up in distance and back on a good track. Gets a good run from the barrier but doubt he can be in the finish.
KIROV BOY: Did a mountain of work here a month ago over 2100m but somehow nearly won, only going down by a nose. He's never missed a place over this distance and from barrier 1 he should get a clear lead. Could be a roughie to throw in at 40/1.
WOODSVILLE: Placed in 4/5 over this distance but he's only ever placed once at this track. Awkward barrier and 59kg to carry makes life very tough for him. Pass.
DARK MUSKET: Ran very well to finish 3rd at $151 in the Kingston Town Classic, albeit beaten 5 lengths. May have been helped by the wet ground that day, so back onto the firm track might not suit him as much. Bad barrier, looks tested here.
BALMONT GIRL: Didn't handle the track at all in the Kingston Town so if you look past that run and instead focus on her run in the Railway she looks a chance here. That day she finished 3rd to Good Project and although she has more weight to carry here, she still gets a reasonable barrier and can run well.
REAL LOVE: Another one that didn't handle the wet in the Kingston Town Classic. She will love the step up in distance and the good barrier really helps her. We might see her somewhere up near the lead here with the lack of pace. Despite all that, I think Delicacy is just a better horse with better form so Real Love will struggle to beat her.
DELICACY: Her last couple of runs have been enormous but last start she really showed that she is ready to win and only needed one more stride two weeks ago and she would have won her third Group 1. Probably appreciated the wet track but she's just as good on the dry ground. Step up in distance ideal and she finally draws a good barrier here. Price might be gone but she just wins.
DELICACY has been putting the writing on the wall for a few starts now and her run last start was huge. The step up in distance is what she has been crying out for, as well as a good barrier, and she finally gets both today. She looks the winner, and should go on to win the Perth Cup as well.
Behind her it is an interesting fight for the minors. EXTRA ZERO can't go at all on the soft tracks so back onto firmer ground he is a big player here if he brings his best form. The same can be said about BLACK HEART BART who struggled in the Kingston Town Classic. Firm ground is the key for him, and despite the query over whether he can run the distance, he should be competitive.
BALMONT GIRL is another who went backwards in the wet ground in the Kingston Town Classic, but her form prior to that in the Railway Stakes sees her very competitive here. The step up to 2100m will suit both her and REAL LOVE, who will also appreciate firm ground and a slow tempo.
The blowout place chance could be KIROV BOY who placed behind Real Love in the Perth Cup last year. He looks to get a soft lead from barrier 1 and has never missed a place over 2100m.
1 - DELICACY
2 - BLACK HEART BART
3 - BALMONT GIRL
4 - EXTRA ZERO
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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