A Perfect Kingston Town Classic

5
Dec

Often the pre-race hype fails to match the main event.

On this occasion, the running of the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic, it delivered so much more and then some.

At the conclusion of a hard-fought 1800 metres, only a nose separated two combatants.

That they were from the same stable only added to the sense of theatre and drama.

Like two gladiatorial warriors in a fight ring, they went toe-for-toe and refused to yield.

One, a rising star that looks every inch a budding champion, the other, an established hero, looking to knock off her younger rival.

But in boxing parlance Perfect Reflection, the challenger, wins the battle in a narrow points decision.

Delicacy, the favourite, loses the contest but wins admirers for a rousing performance.

In a race for the ages, Perfect Reflection, ridden by William Pike, raced by leviathan owner-breeder, Bob Peters, and trained by Grant Williams, defeated last season’s Australian Champion 3-Year-Old-Filly-of-the-Year, Delicacy, by a nose.

Etching her name into the record books, the daughter of More Than Ready became the first three-year-old filly to win the Kingston Town Classic since it was first run in 1976.

“She is a nice filly but I didn’t think she could do what she did,” Peters said.

Jockey William Pike has won a host of major WA races but the Kingston Town Classic was one that had slipped through his grasp.

The closest the champion hoop got previously was last year with Disposition and the enigmatic Ranger in 2011.

His effort to waste hard during the week and ride Perfect Rejection on the 50kg minimum, payed off in spectacular fashion.

He had enough muscle to send Perfect Reflection to the lead at the top of the straight and hold out a rampaging Delicacy.

“I actually got to the front too early and it left me vulnerable, but she has such a good finish,” Pike said.

“She feels so nice and the way she lengthens it feels effortless.

“She has a lot of good attributes but next year we will know how good she is.”

Peter Hall was left to rue what would have been his third Group 1 of the year after he combined with Delicacy in the Australasian Oaks (2000m) and South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville in May.

An emotional Hall said his courageous mare could not have done any more to win the race.

“This horse is so special and it was my chance to win a Group 1 in WA,” Hall said.

“You saw today (Saturday) why she was voted Australian 3-Year-Old-Filly of the Year.”

Perfect Reflection and Delicacy were the main actors on the Kingston Town stage with a further 4 ½ lengths to Dark Musket, who ran out of his skin, third.

The support cast, headed by German raider, Magic Artist, hardly raised a bead of sweat, fading to finish 13th and 24 lengths from the winner.

It ends a miserable Australian campaign for connections and trainer, Andreas Wohler, after his two luckless runs in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) and Emirates Stakes (1600m) in Melbourne.

RWWA: Julio Santrelli