Punters Show Their Affection For Real Love

29
Dec

Real Love will start one of the shortest-priced favourites in recent editions of the Group 2 Golden River Developments-Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on Thursday.

The Desert King mare is all the rage with punters and looks to have a stranglehold on the $500,000 feature after displaying outstanding form this campaign.

Real Love surged into calculations with an effortless win in the Group 3 Queens Cup (2200m) when she put paid to her rivals by 2 ¼ lengths.

The four-year-old was forced to dig deep in last Saturday’s Listed WA St Leger (2100m) but revealed her resilience to run over the top of Balmont Girl.

Real Love turned the tables after Balmont Girl had her measure last season with twin victories in the Group 3 WA Oaks (2400m) and Listed Natasha Stakes (1800m).

Real Love opened at $4.20 with the TAB but has firmed into $2.60 after posting consecutive feature victories.

Real Love and Balmont Girl, who holds second favouritism at $5, are the only two runners under double figure odds.

Trainer Adam Durrant said Real Love had pulled up well since the St Leger and his main concern was to keep her safe and sound ahead of her major assignment on New Year’s Day.

“Hopefully we can keep her in one piece,” said Durrant on TABradio.

“It will be two weeks between runs and anything can happen in racing.

“I’ve got the cotton wool and padding out and hopefully there are no setbacks.”

Real Love will be joined in the Perth Cup by stable mates Mr Moet and Chester Road.

The pair are without a win in three starts this preparation and dead-heated for fifth behind Elite Belle in the Group 2 C.B.Cox Stakes (2100m) on December 20.

Mr Moet, to carry top weight of 59kg, will be in the hands of Peter Hall.

Chester Road, on the comeback trail after a two-year injury layoff, carries 58kg for Peter Knuckey.

Durrant said despite their indifferent form he is not prepared to write off their chances.

“Both are probably below what they are at their best,” said Durrant.

“But racing over 2400m is a different story and they are proven at the distance.

“I’m confident they will be run competitive races.”

Mr Moet is at $17 and Chester Road $18.

Durrant has Real Charm entered for the Perth Cup but the Reset mate, who is chasing four wins in a line, is likely to contest the Group 3 La Trice Classic (1800m) on the same day.

Real Love, raced by prominent breeder-owner, Bob Peters, will be ridden by William Pike.

Peters and Pike are in red-hot form after winning all four major races at Ascot a week ago.

Durrant and Peters combined to win the Perth Cup in 2010 with Lords Ransom.