Veteran trainer David Harrison is backing youth over experience as he hopes Kristy Bennett can bring about an upset result on Media Baron at Ascot on Saturday.
Bennett is the sole apprentice riding in the Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) and despite not being eligible to claim her 2kg allowance, Harrison says she deserves another chance on the seven-year-old.
It will be Bennet’s first ride in a Group race and second black-type event after she partnered Media Baron to a flashing fourth in last month’s Listed Boulder Cup (2100m).
Under feature race conditions, apprentice riders cannot claim in the Asian Beau Stakes and will compete on equal terms with senior riders.
But Harrison, who has never been afraid to reward young talent, has total confidence in Bennett and says it was an easy decision to back her in.
“When they do the hard work and turn up each morning it’s not hard to reward them,” Harrison told The Races WA.
“I really don’t understand why with her 2kg claim she doesn’t get more opportunities.
“I think she is better than half of the senior riders.
“She’s in the last year of her apprenticeship and as good as anyone going around.
“It puzzles me why she doesn’t ride in a lot more races.
“To my way of thinking she definitely deserves it.
“She rides well.”
Media Baron, approaching 50 career starts, has been on easy street since he ran fourth to Living The Dream in the Kalgoorlie Cup (2200m).
The son of Written Tycoon has won eight races, highlighted by dual wins in the Listed Old Comrade Stakes (1600m) and the Geraldton Cup (2100m).
At $61, he’s the rank outsider in the Asian Beau Stakes, but Harrison says with the right run he could easily finish in the placings without surprising.
“I don’t think he is quite up to this level, he’s probably about a length from them,” Harrison said.
“But if he gets the right run and the favourites don’t get any luck, I can see him in the placings.
“He’ll go back from the draw and what he does have is a good kick.”
The Asian Beau Stakes has attracted nine acceptors with Media Baron to jump from barrier four.
Western Empire is the $2.50 favourite, ahead of Kissonallforcheeks at $3.40.