Kersley Keen On Blackwood In Starstruck

18
Dec

Master trainer Fred Kersley believes Blackwood will be spot on for her final assignment of the year in the Starstruck Classic (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday.

The $100,000 Listed feature is seen as a race in two and with Blackwood’s 7kg weight advantage she holds narrow TAB favouritism over Ideal Image.

Blackwood returns to fillies and mares level and earned her position at the head of the market after sound fifth placings against top company.

She took on the boys in the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) and despite an on pace bias she produced eye-catching run from last place.

The daughter of Blackfriars backed up against elite grade in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic and proved her measure on a heavy track.

Despite a gruelling campaign Kersley says he expects Blackwood, drawn in barrier eight for Steven Parnham, to run a forward race.

“I would like to think she could run pretty well,” Kersley said on TABradio.

“She is definitely advantaged by the light weight, but these races are never easy.

“She had a pretty tough run in the Kingston Town Classic so I had to freshen her a little bit coming back to the mile.

“I’m looking forward to the race and I’m sure she will run well.”

For Kersley Blackwood has delivered on the hype she created in her maiden campaign as a two-year-old when she won her opening four races at Ascot and Belmont earlier this year.

Sandwiched behind thirds to star filly Perfect Reflection in the Belgravia Stakes (1200m) and Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m), she won the Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m).

“These three-year-olds this season have been outstanding and she (Blackwood) has run into the best of the best,” Kersley said.

“She hasn’t had a lot of luck with barrier draws and luck in running.

“Her performances have been really good and outstanding really without winning.

“I’m really happy with the horse and I think she has a future.”

Blackwood and stable mate Doubt You Catch Me, to jump from barrier one for apprentice, Jake Casey, form a two-pronged attack for Kersley.

He says the seven-year-old had no luck last week when tenth to Lunar Eclipse and ran creditable placings at his previous two starts.

He says the Redoubtable mare, a rank outsider at $51, faces a significant step in grade.

RWWA: Julio Santarelli