Kingston Town Classic Might be Last Chance for Black Heart Bart
By now, hopefully, punters are ready for the Kingston Town Classic (1800 m) at Ascot Saturday coming.
We must pause briefly to insert our opinion that the Ascot racecourse is one of our favourites. When we see the horses gallop down the riverside, it makes us want to get back in the irons, even though we would collapse Phar Lap if we were to get him.
As the final Group 1 race of the calendar year, the Kingston Town Classic attracts a nice quality field, even if some of the city slickers from Victoria and NSW are unwilling to travel west.
The race was won last year by Stratum Star from Scales of Justice, with Perfect Reflection third.
Neither of those three seems to be in the field this year.
The Kingston Town Classic was the second Group 1 win for Stratum Star. He won the Rupert Clarke at Caulfield back in September of 2015 and ran well the next month when he lost the Toorak Handicap to Lucky Hussler while running third. He has run fairly well since winning the Kingston Town, but has no wins above Group 2, the one being the Peter Young Stakes (1800 m) at Caulfield, where he beat Humidor and Jameka.
We had expected to see Scales Of Justice in the race, but his connections may have decided otherwise when their five-year-old bay gelding ran near the back of the pack in the Railway Stakes.
Perfect Reflection is no longer racing, but won the race in 2015.
For the 2017 Kingston Town Classic, Black Heart Bart is the favourite in the early markets, carrying a quote of $3.50 on Ladbrokes. Bart ran second in the Railway Stakes, edging the favourite Tom Melbourne, but few would have expected Great Shot to have any shot, but the 5.5 kg weight advantage he had over Bart was enough for a narrow win.