Trainer Adam Durrant has thrown down the gauntlet to Scales Of Justice, declaring the reigning Western Australia Horse of the Year to be vulnerable in the Group 2 WAROA-Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Durrant, who will saddle-up Disposition and Silverstream in the $250,000 feature, believes there could be a chink in the armour of Scales Of Justice, who resumes after a spring campaign in Melbourne failed to meet expectations.
The Lindsey Smith-trained gelding, who launches his Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) defence, made his Melbourne debut at Flemington in September when he ran second to Rekirk Warrior in the Group 2 Bobby Lewis Quality (1200m).
Beaten 2 ½ lengths, The son of Not A Single Doubt arguably should have finished closer after racing erratically over the concluding stages in the straight.
He then pulled up lame after he was galloped on when seventh to Santa Ana Lane in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 2.
Scales Of Justice appeared on track to reignite his spring campaign after winning a Lark Hill trial over 950m on Monday, clocking the fastest time of the day.
Durrant, who can win one of the few Perth races missing from his trophy cabinet, is confident Silverstream and in particular, Disposition, can prove to be more than worth rivals for Scales Of Justice.
“He is a very good horse (Scales Of Justice), there is no doubt about that, but he is coming off that Melbourne preparation and has to peak again,” Durrant told Tabradio’s The Sports Daily.
“I know the man who trains him very well and I won’t question what he is doing, but it can be difficult for horses.
“If you go back to Disposition’s form he ran Scales Of Justice to a neck about three or four runs ago at Belmont and on their day there is not a lot between them.
“Disposition is a genuine Group 1 horse and I really think he will be hard to beat. He’s a favourite of mine.
“I watched his work on Tuesday and I was happy with what I saw.”
The TAB has installed Scales Of Justice the $1.55 favourite. Silverstream, who finished 2 ½ lengths ahead of Disposition when winning last Saturday week’s Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m), is next at $4.60. Disposition is rated a $10 chance.
Despite a market disparity with punters, Durrant says there is very little that separates Disposition and Silverstream.
“I don’t think there is anything between them and if you swap their runs last start you just about get the same result,” Durrant said.
“Disposition is a horse that needs to get rolling along and was held up at a crucial stage.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if either of these horses tested Scales Of Justice.
Disposition has drawn barrier five for Chris Parnham. William Pike, who has won the Lee Steere three times previously, rides Silverstream from barrier three.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli