Trainer Paula Wagg has dismissed critics of Balmont Girl’s performance in last Saturday week’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
Wagg said there were genuine excuses for Balmont Girl’s failure when she finished 10th of 16 to Sydney galloper, Moriarty.
It was a rare miss from the five-year-old who posted one win and two placings from her previous three starts this campaign.
Balmont Girl won the Asian Beau Stakes (1400m), finished third in the Northerly Stakes (1400m) and ran a slashing second in the Railway Stakes (1600m).
“That run might have been disappointing to other people but I have watched it numerous times and she did have a hard run,” said Wagg on TAB Radio.
“She wasn’t closer than three off the fence and had to make her run at the 600m before getting speared near the point of the turn.
“After she copped a bump Shaun (O’Donnell) took her inwards which was ok but I thought then she was going to spit it.
“But to her credit she did run on and wasn’t too far off them, picking up good ground up the hill after the race.”
Wagg said a field of seven was the principal reason why she opted for the Listed WA St Leger (2100m) over the Group 2 C.B Cox Stakes (2100m) on Saturday.
Balmont Girl will run into in form mare Real Love who consolidated Perth Cup favouritism with a comfortable win in the Group 3 Queens Cup (2200m) two weeks ago.
“The small field really swayed me,” said Wagg.
“She drew eight in the Cox Stakes and I thought from that barrier and the way she races she could end up being wide again.
“I would rather go in a smaller field where I know even if she was running last she only has to go around five or six horses.
“There is also only really going to be one competitor in Real Love and I’m keen to look after the interest of the horse.”
“I don’t want her to have a torrid run and falling flat and not being able to compete in the Perth Cup which is just two weeks away.”
Real Love is the hot $1.75 TAB favourite with Balmont Girl on the second line at $3.20.
Last season’s WA Derby winner Respondent is rated a $6.50 chance.