A talented field of 12 has been confirmed in the final field for the 2014 Group 2 WATC Derby (2400m) at Ascot racecourse this weekend, including talented three-year-old Balmont Girl.
Securing four race wins and six places in only 15 starts to date, Balmont Girl (barrier 11) has arguably hit career best form over his six most recent starts; finishing an unlucky second in both the Listed Aquanita Stakes (1800m) and Listed Starstruck Classic (1600m) before breaking through for her maiden victory this preparation in the Singapore T.C Trophy first-up this year on February 15th.
Unlucky to finish just outside the places in fourth in the Listed 1000 Guineas (1800m) on March 1st, the talented Balmont filly returned to winning form in the Listed Natasha Stakes (2200m) before securing a near-two length victory in the Group 3 W.A. Oaks (2400m) last time out.
Unsure whether or not she head to Melbourne for this year’s Spring Racing Carnival, trainer Paula Wagg is likely to let results in this weekend’s major dictate the long-term path for Balmont Girl.
Also included in the final field for the 2014 WATC Derby is in-form gelding Ihtsahymn.
Securing an impressive record of seven wins and two places from only 13 competitive starts to date, Ihtsahymn has returned to racing in typically scintillating for this season, unlucky to finish second to fellow WATC Derby acceptor Respondent in both the Listed Lex Piper Stakes (1600m) and Listed J.C. Roberts Stakes (1800m) before returning to the winner’s circle in the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m) last time out.
Winner of the 2013 Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on December 7th, the talented Ihtiram gelding was arguably the biggest winner of all WATC Derby leading contenders at Wednesday’s barrier draw, having received the ideal gate 2.
Securing three wins and five places over his ten race maiden preparation, Respondent has been without doubt one of the west’s leading performers in 2014 so far, finishing outside the places just twice in eight starts.
Trainer Grant Williams, who will also saddle Real Love (barrier 5) in the 2014 WATC Derby, is quietly confident of adding another major W.A. crown to his mantel piece this weekend via Respondent, who has beaten nearly every runner in the final field for this weekend’s major in lead-up events.
Arguably hitting career-best condition over his current preparation, talented three-year-old Authentic Style was unlucky to finish second behind Ihtsahymn in the Listed Malvista Stakes last time out, but has secured two strong wins of his own during his current campaign.
While yet to claim a maiden race victory, Black Heart Bart has finished outside the places just twice in seven career starts to date, and has displayed a keen ability to overcome both a wide barrier and a poor start.
Having been allocated the ideal barrier 3 for the WATC Derby, the consistent Blackfriars gelding is offered a strong chance of breaking his winning drought this weekend, particularly with in-form local jockey Shaun Meeres on board.
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2014 WATC Derby Final Field and Barrier Draw
|1||x76111x221||IHTSAHYMN||Fred Kersley||Steven Parnham||2||56.5kg|
|2||1212×51344||SPIN DA WHEELS||Michael Lane||Peter Hall||1||56.5kg|
|3||3142336113||RESPONDENT||Grant Williams||William Pike||9||56.5kg|
|4||15845×6908||LOW TIDE||Daniel Morton||Jordan Mallyon (a)||12||56.5kg|
|5||4×62112352||AUTHENTIC STYLE||Adam Durrant||–||8||56.5kg|
|6||5222330||BLACK HEART BART||Vaughn Sigley||Shaun Meeres||3||56.5kg|
|7||84213×5115||SAVANAROLA||Darren Mcauliffe||Ben Kennedy||10||56.5kg|
|8||15315×8777||THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN||Steve Wolfe||Shaun Mc Gruddy||4||56.5kg|
|9||44321136||GET ROUND IT||Helen Harding||Craig Staples||6||56.5kg|
|10||25533023||SUNSET SUPERMAN||Brett Pope||Glenn Smith||7||56.5kg|
|11||5633221411||BALMONT GIRL||Paula Wagg||Shaun O’Donnell||11||54.5kg|
|12||5×21632||REAL LOVE||Grant Williams||Brad Parnham||5||54.5kg|