The Kingston Town Classic recognises one of the immortals of the Australian turf, Kingston Town, an historic winner of three Cox Plates.
The Kingston Town Classic, run over 1800m and under weight-for-age conditions, is the final Group One of the Australian racing year.
The race was also known as the Western Mail Classic, Winfield Stakes, Rothwell Stakes, Beat Diabetes Stakes, Fruit ‘N’ Veg Stakes and Marlboro Stakes.
Several of Australia’s leading trainers have their named etched on the Kingston Town Honour roll including Australian Hall Of Famers, George Hanlon, Bart Cummings, Tommy Smith, Colin Hayes, David Hayes and Geoff Murphy.
David Hayes can extend his record as the most successful Kingston Town Classic trainer when he saddles up He Or She with son Ben and nephew, Tom Dabernig. Hayes celebrated success with Credit Account (1993) and Niconero (2006-2008).
Hayes is one win clear of his late father, Colin, who won it twice with Military Plume (1986) and Better Loosen Up (1989).
Lindsey Smith, who will saddle up Scales Of Justice, and Neville Parnham Bass Strait, can join David Hayes as three-time Kingston Town Classic champions after preparing Old Comrade (2000-2001) and Playing God (2010-2011) respectively.
Grant Williams prepared Perfect Reflection last year and has the opportunity of joining, George Hanlon, Tommy Smith, Bart Cummings, Colin Hayes, Bob Taylor, Albie Beckett, Lindsey Smith and Neville Parnham as dual Kingston Town Classic winners.
Williams, now in partnership with his wife, Alana Williams, have Disposition, Heart Starter, Perfect Reflection and Neverland engaged in the 2016 Kingston Town Classic.
Perfect Reflection has an opportunity of becoming the fourth horse behind Summer Beau (1996-1997), Old Comrade (2000-2001) and Playing God (2010-2011) to win back-to-back Kingston Town Classics.
Alana Williams is looking to become the second female to train the winner of the Kingston Town Classic after Maxine Payne’s success with True Steel (2003).
Chris Waller (Moriarty) and Fred Kersley (Ihtsahymn) are in line for their second Kingston Town Classic title.
New Zealand raider, Kawi, is aiming for his 6th Group One victory and first on Australian soil.
His trainer Allan Sharrock, Darren Weir, Justin Warwick, Todd and Rob Harvey and Jason Miller and Geoff Durrant are searching for their maiden success in the Kingston Town Classic.
Steven Parnham, who rode Playing God (2010-2011) and Ihtsahymn (2013), can match Paul Harvey’s record haul of four Kingston Town Classics if successful aboard Ihtsahymn.
Damien Oliver, who partnered Island Morn (1994) and Sniper’s Bullet (2009), can join Parnham as a triple Kingston Town winner when he combines with Mackintosh.
Douglas Whyte, who won the Kingston Town with Moriarty (2014) and William Pike on Perfect Reflection (2015), can join Shaun O’Donnell, Damien Oliver, Brad Rawiller, Danny Miller, Michael Clarke, Rod Kemp and Malcom Johnston as dual winners of the race if Scales Of Justice and Perfect Reflection are successful.
Hugh Bowman, Damian Lane, Michael Walker, Glenn Smith, Chris Parnham, Ben Kennedy, Brad Parnham, Dwayne Dunn, Ben Melham, Peter Hall, Jarrad Noske and Pat Carbery are aiming for their first Kingston Town wins.
Hall ran third with Elite Belle (2014) and second aboard Delicacy (2015), Carbery placed second on Gilded Venom (2008) and third with Daka’s Gem (2006), Glenn Smith finished third with Rohan (2013) and Brad Parnham ran third on God Has Spoken (2012).
Mackintosh will start from barrier 10, the best starting position in Kingston Town Classic history with seven wins.
Barriers two (Perfect Reflection), four (Kawi) and eight (Disposition) are the next most successful barrier positions with four wins.
Barriers six (Dubai Escapade), 11 (Bass Strait), 13 (Ihtsahymn), 15 (Tick Tick Bloom) and 16 (Scales Of Justice), commence from the least successful gate positions.
Ihtsahymn, Kawi, Disposition, Her Or She, Dubai Escapade, Bass Strait, Tradesman, Scales Of Justice, Mackintosh and Heart Starter are looking to maintain the dominance of geldings who have won the Kingston Town on 21 occasions.
Good Project, Stratum Star and Vanbrugh will carry the honours for stallions who have taken out the race six times.
Perfect Reflection, Tick Tick Bloom and Neverland fly the flag for mares who have been successful on just four previous occasions.
RAILWAY STAKES/KINGSTON TOWN CLASSIC DOUBLE
Scales of Justice is searching to become the 5th horse to complete the double in the same year after earlier wins to Modem (2004), Old Comrade (2001), Island Morn (1994) and Better Loosen Up (1989).
RWWA: Julio Santarelli