rainer Dan Morton will draw on Lunar Impact’s WA Oaks victory as motivation in a bid to win his first Group 2 Schweppes WA Derby (2400m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Lunar Impact scored a massive upset win in the WA Oaks (2400m), upstaging hot favourite Pure Devotion and Morton is hoping to do the same with Temptacion.
Tabtouch betting suggests three-time Listed winner Western Empire has a strangle hold on the WA Derby, holding market lead at $1.40 with Temptacion an $11 hope.
Western Empire, a member of Grant and Alana Williams’ powerful team, has the support of punters after securing the Lex Piper Stakes, J.C Roberts Stakes and Melvista Stakes.
After wins at 1500m and 1800m respectively, Temptacion ran a brave third to Lunar Impact in the WA Oaks, her first attempt over a 2400m trip.
With Chris Parnham in the saddle, Temptacion loomed a winner at the top of the straight when she hit the front, but peaked on her run with 200m remaining.
“That was her first run over ground and sometimes you need to go over it once to get it right,” Morton told The Races WA.
“I thought she went terrific and she wasn’t beaten that far.
“She has come on since the run and I couldn’t be happier, she’s in good order and as well as I can get her.
“Everyone has to come up to Western Empire, but I don’t think this is a vintage edition of the race.
“I believe this is my best chance of winning the race and I can’t fault her.”
Parnham retains the ride on Temptacion and jumps from barrier six.
A $300,000 yearling, Temptacion has three wins and three placings from seven starts.
Morton also said Featherweight was a chance to progress to the WA Sires (1400m) in a fortnight if he ran well in the Crown Perth Plate (1100m).
Fairetha Stakes (1400m) winner Kallaroo is set to make his return to racing in the Crown Ridge Handicap (1200m).
And stable star Elite Street is scheduled to arrive in Perth on Friday by float after a winless campaign in Melbourne.