Trainer David Harrison believes his speedy colt Gemma’s Son has all the necessary credentials to knock off boom filly Clairvoyance at Ascot’s season-opening meeting on Saturday.
Harrison says he is not prepared to concede the $100,000 Crown Perth 3YO Classic (1000m) to Clairvoyance, despite hot favouritism and her growing reputation.
The Darren McAuliffe-trained daughter of Nostradamus has made a spectacular start to her racing career with three wins from as many starts, her last two by a combined winning margin of 10-lengths.
Gemma’s Son, a son of Snippetson, displayed above average potential as a juvenile after winning four of five races with the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) and Listed Perth Stakes (1100m) his biggest scalps
After suffering his sole defeat in the Group 2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m) in April, Gemma’s Son brilliantly won first-up last month, leading from the front for apprentice Kristy Bennett and scoring by 1 ¼ lengths over 1000m.
Harrison outlined a compelling case for Gemma’s Son, currently a $4.80 chance with Tabtouch Fixed Odds, firming from his opening quote of $5.50. He is on the second line of betting behind Clairvoyance ($1.70).
“I’m looking forward to the race and I think it will tell us a lot more about Clairvoyance than Gemma’s Son,” Harrison told The Races WA.
“She has never had any pressure applied to her in a race previously and she will be getting that on Saturday.
“If she absorbs that pressure and goes on and win, then she may very well be as good as everyone is saying.
“But Gemma’s Son is a high-speed horse who can reel of pretty slick sectionals and has never been beaten over 1000m.”
Gemma’s Son carries the 59kg top weight in the Classic, giving Clairvoyance a 4 ½ kg advantage.
Paul Harvey, out of action since July, returns to ride Gemma’s Son, who has drawn the second-widest gate in the field of nine starters.
Clairvoyance will jump from barrier nine. Regular hoop Chris Parnham retains the ride.
“I anticipate that Gemma’s Son will take the lead,” Harrison said.
“If he needs a dig to come across from his starting position, he will be charging to the front.
“It will be interesting to see if they go head-to-head which one will crack.
“It’s my intention that Gemma’s Son will lead and I’m confident he can win.”