The $1 million Kingston Town Classic (1800m) marks the final Group 1 race on the calendar as a capacity field steps out over the 1800m at Ascot on Saturday.
The Grant and Alana Williams-trained Inspirational Girl rates as the horse to beat following her triumph a fortnight ago in the Railway Stakes, while there’s also plenty of value on offer for second place-getter Too Close The Sun.
With a lot to look forward to, our complete 2020 Kingston Town Classic Preview can be found below!
Gailo Chop finished second to Kay Cee in last year’s Kingston Town and might be worth forgiving on his last start when dead last in the Railway Stakes after drawing out wide.
The old boy wasn’t far off over this same distance during the Group 1 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield back in September where he ran on for fourth behind Russian Camelot.
This race isn’t any easier, but a bounce-back would come as no surprise if Brad Rawiller can establish a forward position nice and early.
Trap For Fools
It’s been a long time in between drinks for Trap For Fools since he last won the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes back in 2018.
He’s failed to produce his best in three runs so far this prep and is coming off a month long freshen-up since finishing 10 of 12 in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup on Cox Plate Day.
The Lindsey Smith-trained galloper is a seven-time winner at Ascot but appears unlikely after drawing well wide.
Taxagano won the Group 3 Northerly Stakes first up from a spell but has struggled in much tougher company since.
Fred Kersley’s seven-year-old was no match last start in the Railway where he found himself under hard riding along the fence before finishing tenth.
His record at Ascot does stand out on paper, but a win here looks beyond him from barrier 19.
Too Close The Sun
Too Close The Sun again rates as one of the main dangers as he hopes to add a Group 1 to his growing resume.
Lindsey Smith’s talented stayer won the Listed Ascot Gold Cup two runs back over the same distance and showed tremendous fight to hold on for second in the Railway after racing up on the speed.
He’s finished second to Inspirational Girl twice now this prep and is sure to take big improvement into this contest stepping out over further.
Whether he can overcome the extra 5kg remains the only query.
Missile Launch was outclassed a fortnight ago in the Railway finishing third-last in his Group 1 debut.
This year’s Kalgoorlie Cup winner should be better for the run, but still looks set to struggle with the tempo in what is an equally tough race.
Neufbosc finally broke through for another win a fortnight ago in the Listed Carbine Club Stakes where he narrowly beat home Serenity Bay carrying just 55kg.
He’s raced consistently since returning to work back in October but is tough to recommend up in class.
Platoon showed plenty of promise in his return to the races finishing runner-up to Taxagano in the Group 3 Northerly Stakes.
Neville Parnham’s five-year-old has failed to go on with it however finishing sixth in the Lee Steere Stakes followed by a luckless ninth in the Railway a fortnight ago.
Looking to others.
Cup Night has raced well without winning this time in work finishing runner-up in the Listed Black Heart Bart Stakes at Belmont followed by a last start sixth in the Railway.
The six-year-old battled home fairly behind a wall of horses last time out and might appreciate getting out past the mile for the first time in his career.
Six wins from 15 starts at Ascot warrants respect and the son of Maschino could be worth a small shout in the minors.
Arctic Stream has raced among easier company this time in work and looks severely outclassed in a race of this quality.
He did show improvement to run third last start in the Listed Tattersall’s Cup but is likely to be one of the last one’s home racing in a Group 1 for the first time in his career.
Uni Time was the surprise placegetter to emerge from the Railway where he flew home out wide to grab third behind Inspirational Girl and Too Close The Sun.
Everything about that run suggests he should handle racing past the mile for the first time and the fact Alan Kennedy jumps back on board could also be seen as a plus.
The pair have won together four times in the past and they should be doing their best work late from out wide.
Truly Great had his winning streak snapped a fortnight ago in the Railway where he struggled to overcome the wide gate running seventh to Inspirational Girl.
He was far from disgraced in his Group 1 debut though and the fact he won over this track and distance only three runs back is encouraging.
Chris Parnham also jumps back in the saddle after rattling off three wins aboard the son of Dundeel earlier in his prep.
It would take a mighty effort to win, but he does look a serious each-way chance.
William Pike timed his run to perfection aboard Inspirational Girl in the Railway as he now looks to add a third Kingston Town to the mantlepiece.
The daughter of Reliable Man has never raced beyond the mile before, but judging by the way she smoked the line a fortnight ago, she should handle the step up to 1800m in her stride.
Favourites have dominated this race over the last decade winning seven of the last 12 editions, and although Pike will need to offset the wide gate, it’s impossible to knock the Grant and Alana Williams-trained mare.
Kay Cee is hoping to become the first horse since Playing God to win back-to-back Kingston Town’s.
She’s gone on to win three times since (albeit against much easier opposition) and is worth forgiving on her run in the Railway last start when 11 of 16.
Brad Parnham is replacing Jason Brown in the saddle for the first time carrying only 56.5kg and there is no doubt the pair are capable of finishing in the money.
Gemma’s Son won all too easily first-up from a spell and has been thereabouts ever since.
The son of Snippetson wasn’t disgraced two runs back in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes finishing fourth, while he also showed plenty running sixth in the WA Guineas.
This is a much tougher race entirely, but with some weight off his back, he could be worth a look each way.
Dom To Shoot
Dom To Shoot didn’t miss by much last start in the WA Guineas finishing a length third to the winner Watch Me Dance.
She saw out the mile beautifully that day and it looks as though she’s calling out for further now in what will be her Group 1 debut.
This is a serious test for the three-year-old by Shooting To Win, but as the market suggests, there is everything to suggest she is capable of running a big race at odds.
Watch Me Dance
Watch Me Dance has rattled off two narrow wins in the Group 3 WA Champion Fillies Stakes and the Group 2 WA Guineas heading into her first race beyond the mile on Saturday.
Steven Wolfe’s three-year-old filly has won five from her 11 starts since debuting back in January and has finished outside the top five only once.
Seven previous winners of the Kingston Town have won the WA Guineas in the leadup, and although this is arguably her toughest assignment to date, there’s nothing to say she can’t win after drawing kindly.
Snickerdoodledandy won the Listed Burgess Queen two runs back and was far from disgraced on the heavy track when fifth two weeks ago in the WA Champion Fillies Stakes.
She remains the first emergency.
Naughty By Nature
Naughty By Nature rarely runs a bad race at Ascot but would find this a touch too tough if he were to earn a spot in the field.
The lightly-raced Western Empire is still searching for his first win and would need luck to go his way here as the third emergency.