TAB markets suggest Bogart is the clear pick of Bob Peters’ three runners in Saturday’s Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m) at Ascot, but the prominent owner-breeder isn’t so sure.
Bogart is the $1.75 favourite with stable mate Midnight Blue next in line at $4.40, but Peters, who won last year’s Melvista Stakes with Regal Power, says he can split the pair.
Bogart pushed for Melvista Stakes favouritism last-start when he was 2 1/4 lengths second to Talladega in the J.C.Roberts Stakes (1800m). Midnight Blue was another length third.
The Robert Stakes victory capped an amazing maiden campaign for the Darren McAuliffe-trained Talladega, who appears to have the world at his feet with four wins from as many starts.
“He (Bogart) is a bit of a surprise packet,” Peters told Tabradio.
“I remember he wasn’t showing much, but had his first start in a race and won that.
“So you never know with him.
“I don’t think there is much different between Midnight Blue and Bogart myself.”
Arcadia King represents Peters’ third Melvista Stakes starter. The Sebring gelding, a five-start maiden, is a $16 chance. Joe Azzopardi has the ride.
“He is just a very dour stayer at the moment,” Peters.
“I don’t think he is up to the other two.”
Bogart, prepared by Grant and Alana Williams, will be ridden by William Pike. The Redoute’s Choice gelding has drawn barrier three. He has not raced beyond 1800m.
Clint Johnston-Porter retains the Midnight Blue mount. The son of So You Think was a 2200m winner two starts back. He will start from the second widest gate in the field of seven.
Meanwhile later on the card Peters holds high optimism that $1.50 favourite, Tuscan Queen, can extend his dominance in the Group 3 WA Oaks (2400m).
Peters heaped praise on the filly after she bounced back to winning form in the Listed Natasha Stakes (2200m).
“Her last run was a very good run,” Peters said.
“When you considered she was wide and making up ground around the corner and she still ran away from them.
“It looks like the 2400m won’t worry her at all.”
Peters has won the WA Oaks 10 times and the past five in succession.