David Harrison hopes Searchin’ Roc’s can go close to dethroning budding star and raging favourite Western Empire in Saturday’s Group 1 Drummond Golf-Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
Harrison is fully aware of the enormous challenge Western Empire presents to his Kingston Town Classic rivals, but he hasn’t given up all hope of the winning the $1 million race.
For inspiration, Harrison goes back to nearly two decades ago when Blevvo scored an upset victory in the Kingston Town Classic, then named the Fruit ‘N’ Veg Stakes.
Off a hot winning streak of five consecutive races, Blevvo took out the 2002 edition of the weight-for-age event when he held out backmarker Finito by a short-head.
In a thrilling conclusion, Corporate Bruce finished close behind in third while top galloper, Hardrada, the warm favourite after a close second in the Railway Stakes prior, ran fifth.
Drawing on similar form lines to Blevvo, Harrison says Searchin’ Roc’s, the sole three-year-old in the Kingston Town Classic, is racing superbly and he can’t fault her.
The daughter of Awesome Rock has five wins and a second from seven starts and claimed a feature race double in the Belgravia Stakes (1200m) and Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m).
Harrison admits Searchin Roc’s confronts a massive task to win the Kingston Town Classic, but he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s always better to go into a big race in form and she has that,” Harrison said.
“Blevvo had the same type of form and it always helps.
“It’s better going in in good form than bad.
“But we are going to have to rely on luck, particularly with Western Empire and Regal Power.
“Regal Power won an All Star Mile and Western Empire could be anything.
“But Searchin’ Roc’s is holding form and anything can happen in racing.
“She’ll be doing her best and if she finishes in the placings, I’ll be happy.”
Searchin’ Roc’s is $9 with Tabtouch. The market dominated by Western Empire ($1.40) and Regal Power ($5.50).
She jumps from barrier three for Kyra Yuill. The in-form jockey has spent the past week wasting hard to ride her at 50kg.
“Kyra’s on track to make the weight,” Harrison said.
“She has the best record on the horse and knows her best.
“She’s only ever been beaten once on her and that was for a second.
“I hope her hard work is rewarded.”
Meanwhile in the Tabtouch-Sir Ernest Lee Steere Classic (1400m), Harrison believes Pat’s Got Sass can have an impact.
The Patronize filly finished unplaced in the WA Guineas (1600m), but Harrison says he expects her to bounce back.
“She’ll improve off a freshen up and a drop back to 1400m,” Harrison said.
“I think she is up to them.”
Pat’s Got Sass is $18 in current Tabtouch markets.
She has gate one and Kyra Yuill reclaims the mount.