Kingston Town Classic Features Locals Blocking Bart
The last of the Group 1 Australian thoroughbred races was held at Ascot on Saturday and it was marred by some careless riding that absolutely ruined any chances Black Heart Bart took into the race.
Bart jumped favourite on the rail at $3.20, but he could not overcome an early encounter with Perfect Jewel.
The Kingston Town Classic of 2017 will be remembered as closing out the Group 1 year on a sour note.
Pounamu, one of the WA locals, won the race from the eighth barrier carrying a starting price of $21 from Material Man ($31) and Achernar Star ($8.50).
Pounamu is a six-year-old grey gelding by Ireland’s Authorized from Australia’s Tangiwai. He picked up approximately half of his prizemoney total for winning the Kingston Town, so the patience of Muchea trainer Alan Mathews was finally rewarded.
The horse did race in the east a few times and can claim to have been beaten by Winx in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes at Rosehill in 2015. Beyond that, Pounamu has been okay, if not spectacular, his biggest win prior to Saturday being the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes in early November at the same track.
Jockey Patrick Carbery is another for whom patience has paid off. He is closing in on 15,000 races. The Kingston Town Classic was just his third Group 1 win. He has two Railway Stakes wins to his credit, in 1998 and 2008.
After the race, Carbery said, “Alan Mathews has always stuck solid with me for 22 years now. I don’t know if he realises how much I appreciate how solid he is. To win a Group One for him means a lot to me.”
Stewards immediately launched an investigation following the race. William Pike was suspended for 28 meetings and fine $2000 for careless riding and given his past record, he was fortunate to not come away with a longer suspension and a larger fine.