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The TABtouch Masters concludes this Saturday with the running of the 2021 Kingston Town Classic. This is the third straight Saturday with a Group One held at Ascot Racecourse, with 10 horses lining up for the $1M prizemoney and also the last Australian Group One for 2021. Six of the 10 horses come out of the Railway Stakes, two weeks ago, which was won by Western Empire.
Speaking of Western Empire, Dabble has priced him as if he is unbeatable yet again. After winning the Railway as a $1.60 favourite, Western Empire is priced at $1.40 for this Saturday’s main event. His stable mate and 2020 All Star Mile winner, Regal Power, is on the next line of betting at $5.50 while Searchin’ Roc’s is the only other runner in single-figure odds, with the three-year-old filly priced at $10.
However, we know with horse racing that anything can happen and as good as Western Empire was two weeks ago, we see upsets all the time. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you! Read on below to find out runner by runner preview of the 2021 Kingston Town Classic along with The Shark’s Kingston Town Classic best tips.
1. Regal Power (8) – $5.50
Jockey – Patrick Carbery
Trainer – Grant & Alana Williams
Since winning the All Star Mile, it has been quite a rocky 18 months for Regal Power. A lung infection saw him put in two ordinary performances in the 2020 Spring Carnival before being brought back to WA and he has only had three races since then. Back to back 4ths to start this preparation had many thinking that he could be returning to his best, but he would need extraordinary luck to factor here. He has never placed from two 3rd up runs and he finished behind the same three horses in his two runs this prep and the closest any of those three got to Western Empire in the Railway was 7.25 lengths.
William Pike wins the $5m ALL*STAR MILE ON REGAL POWER! pic.twitter.com/6fnTrcjgC3
— 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@7horseracing) March 14, 2020
2. Trap For Fools (7) – $61
Jockey – Brad Rawiller
Trainer – Lindsey Smith
Trap For Fools finished almost 3L off Notorious One (who finished 2nd) first up, who then was 2L off Western Empire in the Asian Beau Stakes before finishing 6.37L behind him in the Railway. That form doesn’t really stack up for the eight-year-old gelding, who hasn’t raced since mid-September and hasn’t won from nine tries when 1st up.
3. Neufbosc (1) – $51
Jockey – Jason Brown
Trainer – Neville Parnham
Neufbosc was also in that race with Trap For Fools, behind Notorious One and Tellem We’re Coming, but he finished much further back in that one and has also had four runs since then, finishing no better than 5th. He has also failed to fire in his one attempt at 1800m and can’t be considered, despite the small field size.
4. Too Close The Sun (10) – $34
Jockey – Joseph Azzopardi
Trainer – Lindsey Smith
The first of the runners from the Railway Stakes. Too Close The Sun finished 5th, 6.75L off the pace two weeks ago, but does meet the winner 2kg better at the weights this Saturday. He also has a win and a third from three runs at the distance and should be at peak fitness 3rd up from a freshen, where he has finished in the top three in four of five runs.
5. Platoon (5) – $101
Jockey – Steve Parnham
Trainer – Neville Parnham
Platoon has met Western Empire twice this prep and not gotten within 4.5L of the favourite. He has won at the distance previously, but he has contested this race the last two years with his best effort being 4.9L off the pace. It is hard to see him doing better than that this year.
6. Notorious One (6) – $21
Jockey – Clint Johnston-Porter
Trainer – Chris & Michael Gangemi
Notorious One is a tough one to judge out of the Railway. He did manage to finish fourth, but was 0.75L away from third, who he meets 2.5kg worse at the weights on Saturday, and was 6.37L off Western Empire, who he meets at equal weights. He is 3rd up from a freshen now, meaning he should be at his peak fitness, but he hasn’t placed in two 3rd up runs, hasn’t placed in two runs at the distance and has over 6L to make up here.
That was arrogant! Western Empire absolutely dominates the Group 1 Railway Stakes! Another feature for William Pike 🧙♂️ pic.twitter.com/VQMxeZnFMr
— SKY Racing (@SkyRacingAU) November 20, 2021
7. Western Empire (9) – $1.40
Jockey – William Pike
Trainer – Grant & Alana Williams
Is it simply a case of how much does he win by? Western Empire has been nothing short of breathtaking, winning six straight races by a combined margin of 15.9 lengths. His seven career wins have all come in his last eight races, with his one slip up actually seeing him finish behind Kissonallforcheeks, who meets 2kg worse off from that run and 2kg worse off from the Railway. Clearly a lot has changed since that meeting earlier this year in February, and the Grant & Alana Williams gelding has established himself as the best horse in WA at the moment.
8. Dance Music (2) – $41
Jockey – Brad Parnham
Trainer – Simon Miller
We really liked Dance Music to be one of the leading chances at finishing second to Western Empire in the Railway and while she didn’t disgrace us, she was 7.25L off the winner and 3.3L off second. However, she carried 3kg more than the winner in that race and is now 1.5kg lighter, with a massive 4.5kg weight swing making a massive difference. She also has two wins, a second and a third from four 4th up runs and is a perfect 1/1 at the distance. Admittedly, the four horses that beat her in the Railway that she meets again this Saturday all did run past her, indicating the extra distance may be no good against this lot, but you could do a lot worse than $5.50 the place.
9. Kissonallforcheeks (4) – $15
Jockey – Chris Parnham
Trainer – Daniel Morton
Kissonallforcheeks was one of those to run past Dance Music in the Railway, finishing 5.6L back in 3rd. We are now getting better odds for her here than we did two weeks ago, which is exceptional considering she has won 50% of her races and placed in 13/16. The query is that this is her sixth run this prep and she is untried over this distance, with 1600m being the furthest she has run in her career. She does meet the winner 2kg better at the weights this Saturday, but it is hard to factor her again.
10. Searchin’ Roc’s (3) – $10
Jockey – Kyra Yuill
Trainer – David Harrison
Last but not least, the X-factor runner of the race, Searchin’ Roc’s. While this three-year-old filly has just seven career starts next to her name, she also has five wins. Add in the fact that she is carrying just 50kg for this race, 6.5kg lighter than the next lightest and 8.5kg lighter than the favourite, it isn’t hard to see why there is a bit of hype surrounding Searchin’ Roc’s heading into Saturday. We saw Comfort Me bring weak but winning form into the Railway and run 2nd, so can Searchin’ Roc’s be the big improver in this race with conditions to suit?
Search is over as outstanding 3YO, Searchin’ Roc’s makes it 5 from 7 by capturing the Group 3 Euroz WA Champion Fillies S. at Ascot. With over $500k in stakes, Searchin’ Roc’s – by Gold Front Breeding’s Danehill stallion Awesome Rock – was retained to race by her breeder. pic.twitter.com/BWFVhszDEQ
— Aushorse (@Aushorse_TBA) November 13, 2021
Clearly Western Empire should win this race. His win in the Railway was incredible and this looks like the natural progression for him to come out and romp his opposition yet again. However, there is no pride in backing a $1.40 pop to win a race, especially when it is our last crack at it for the calendar year.
Three-year-olds have had the most success in the Kingston Town Classic over more recent history, winning four of the last 10, three of the last six and two of the last three. The only three-year-old in this year’s race is Searchin’ Roc’s, who has won five of her seven career starts and would be the fourth three-year-old filly to win the race in the last seven years, if she was victorious.
Dance Music is another that we are happy to give a big wrap to. She has finished in the top three in all four 4th up runs and is 1/1 at the distance. While she would be the first six-year-old mare to win the race since the turn of the century, she doesn’t need to win with place odds of $5.50.
If you have an active account with either Neds or Sportsbet, a smart play might be a Same Race Multi. Have Western Empire to win, Searchin’ Roc’s to finish top 4 and Dance Music to finish top 4. That gives you a bit more security than backing either Searchin’ Roc’s or Dance Music to place, and can get some nice boosted odds that way. Odds for Same Race Multi markets don’t come out until Saturday morning at 9:30am, but you should get a handy price with Dance Music in there.
For our Dabble users, we are going with Dance Music to place. She hasn’t missed a place when 4th up from a spell and is 1/1 over 1800m. She does need to improve greatly from her run in the Railway, but we are hoping that she is saving the best for last in this one.
Best Kingston Town Classic Tip: Dance Music – Place ($5.50)
If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our Kingston Town Classic page for all your punting needs!
*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of Dabble.