The Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) will be run at Ascot on Saturday, January 4 and Bettingpro.com.au provides you with a comprehensive guide to the race.
Star Exhibit is the defending champion having won the race for the second time in 2019 to add to a victory in 2016.
Perth Cup Final Field and Barrier Draw
Defending champion Star Exhibit heads a field of 13 for Saturday’s Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot.
Adam Durrant’s eight-year-old is the highest rated galloper in the line-up by some margin and will have 5kg more to carry that all five rivals as he bids to win a third Perth Cup having also landed the race in December 2016.
Star Exhibit will jump from barrier six.
Durrant also has roughie Royal Command entered for the first feature of the new year and he will jump from barrier 1.
Grant & Alana Williams rely on just one runner in the shape of favourite the William Pike-ridden Mississippi Delta, who was fourth behind Star Exhibit in the Perth Cup 12 months ago. He has a slightly awkward draw to contend with in gate 11.
Last start GA Towton Cup winner Taxango (barrier 2) will bid to repeat that success for Fred Kersley with the placegetters Prince Turbo (Jason Miller) and Missile Launch (Vaughn Sigley) reopposing.
Justin Warwick’s Spritual Warrior (barrier 4), who won the ATA Stakes last start, is another leading contender.
13. TAXAGANO – Fred Kersley – Brad Parnham – 2 – 53kg
Perth Cup Odds
Mississippi Delta heads the betting markets with TAB for the Perth Cup. Two-time winner Star Exhibit is also prominent in the Perth Cup betting.
Mississippi Delta – $2.80
Star Exhibit – $4.00
Taxango – $7.00
Spiritual Warrior – $9.00
British Bessy – $13
Missile Launch – $15
Prince Turbo – $15
Arctic Stream – $21
Friar Fox – $21
Prize Catch – $34
Royal Commnd – $34
Dark Musket – $67
Plays The Game – $151
Perth Cup Tips
The Adam Durrant-trained Star Exhibit can create history at Ascot on Saturday by becoming the first horse to win the Perth Cup (2400m) on three occasions.
The Perth Cup was run over 3200m from its inception in 1887 until 2008, and during that period, five horses claimed two wins.
The 2009 edition saw the race run over its current distance of 2400m, and after claiming his first win in December 2016, Star Exhibit became the first dual 2400m winner when claiming victory in 2019.
He showed he was the dominant stayer last year as he powered away from Willam Pike who was aboard Action.
In 2020, Pike rides the $2.80 favourite Mississippi Delta, and based on their last start efforts in the Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m), I can’t see why Mississippi Delta is favourite over Star Exhibit.
Both runners had every chance in the race and Star Exhibit came from behind Mississippi Delta and was clearly pulling away from the mare late.
Mississippi Delta does meet Star Exhibit 3kg better at the weights, but I think she’d need double that weight swing to overcome Star Exhibit’s staying power.
The Ted Van Heemst Stakes was also run at a Very Slow tempo to the 600m which should have favoured those on pace, yet Star Exhibit was still able to come from behind Mississippi Delta.
Saturday’s feature also looks devoid of early speed, but that should make it easier for Star Exhibit to carry the weight if they go slow early and then sprint home.
Of the others, Spiritual Warrior meets Arctic Stream 3.5kg better at the weights after beating him home last start, and he looks the best of the rest at double-figure odds.