Top trainer Fred Kersley is banking on his strong belief in Debellatio to be validated when the Smart Missile gelding launches his autumn campaign at Ascot
Debellatio displayed potential as a two-year-old when he won the Group 3 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and ran a fast-closing third in the Group 2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m).
But his efforts as a three-year-old in the summer failed to deliver on high expectations when he ran outside the placings in the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) and Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m).
However, despite a winless Ascot carnival campaign Kersley has not lost faith in Debellatio and is optimistic he can brush aside disappointing form on Saturday.
Debellatio races first-up after two trials including a solid fourth to WA Derby hero, Gatting, when he attacked the line strongly over 950m at Lark Hill.
Debellatio carries 59kg with the claim of Tayla Stone and in a field of seven starters in the Tabtouch Maiden (1200m), he will start from barrier five.
“He is an interesting horse for me and I don’t think he has reached his true potential as a race horse,” Kersley said on Tabradio.
“He was a very impressive youngster with a good action and it looked like he was going to be a real good horse.
“His form has been a little bit mixed and the two-year-old form from last season probably hasn’t stood up.
“So there are some questions mark about him, but in my view he is potentially a better than above average race horse.
“He will probably have two or three runs but I will be guided on his current form, it will be up to him.”
Debellatio ($4.20) sits behind Masquerade ($3.30) and Finally French ($3.90) in TAB markets.
Rockon Tommy is next at $4.40 and Salubrious, on debut for new trainer, Adam Durrant, is $5.50.
Kersley’s other runner Texas Moon ($61) is the rank outsider.
“He is a big ungainly horse and I think there is a bit to like,” Kersley said.
“This is a big step up in class, but I think he is a horse with a future.
“A bit more time he will be a better horse.”