Champion jockey Douglas Whyte could spend the hours on his flight back to Hong Kong wondering what might have been in Saturday’s Group I Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot.
Stratum Star claimed Saturday’s Group I Kingston Town Classic in Perth. Photo: Darryl Sherer
Whyte appeared to stop riding the Railway Stakes winner Scales Of Justice in the final 30m of the Kingston Town Classic while the Darren Weir-trained Stratum Star surged late to get up on the line.
Social media immediately lit up with commentary on the ride while debate over whether Whyte’s riding of Scales Of Justice cost his mount the race will go on for the next few days.
However, the discussion would be irrelevant had Weir not decided to give Stratum Star two trials in WA to get ready for his $1 million assignment.
Weir told Sky Thoroughbred Central the durable galloper had done well in Perth and had required some trimming in condition before the Kingston Town Classic, which proved vital in the last 100m.
“I went and had a look at him last week and he looked a bit big underneath so I said to (assistant trainer) Jarrod (McLean), we’d better be giving him a bit of work on Monday so he had a good trial,” Weir said.
Winning rider, WA-born but Melbourne-based jockey Damian Lane gave Stratum Star a comfortable run behind the speed from barrier one, which left him confident of victory on the home turn.
Lane said Scales Of Justice gave him a few worries when the runner-up fought gamely in the last 150m.
“That was the key, a soft run from barrier one and he had the last crack at them and it all worked out perfect,” Lane said.
“I thought I had him easy at the top of the straight but at the 100(m), I didn’t know. Scales Of Justice kept kicking really strong and made a good fight of it.”
Stratum Star started at $10 while Scales of Justice was a $5 chance. Last year’s winner Perfect Reflection was more than three lengths away from the first two when third as a $4.50 favourite.
The Kingston Town Classic was Stratum Star’s first win since the 2015 Coongy Stakes (2000m) while the event gave the five-year-old his second Group I victory following his success in the 2015 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).