Luckygray Best In The West
Popular Perth star Luckygray turned the tables on Mr Moet to win the Kingston Town Classic, Australia's final Group One race of the year, at Ascot on Saturday.
The current WA Horse Of The Year always looked in control of the race after jumping cleanly and taking up a position midfield one off the fence.
Fully aware that he was aboard the best horse in the race, jockey Shaun O’Donnell eased the striking grey three wide passing the 700m mark to ensure he gained clear galloping room.
When O’Donnell pressed the button Luckygray put the issue beyond doubt in a few strides with an impressive burst of acceleration.
Luckygray, winner of the 2011 Railway Stakes, added his second G1 win to his record as he erased doubts about his ability to run 1800m to beat this year's Railway winner Mr Moet by 1 1/4 lengths.
The result reversed this year's Railway result where Luckygray had finished second conceded 4.5kg to the winner. This time they met on level terms under the weight-for-age conditions.
Winning trainer Gino Poletti was thrilled with his champion’s performance.
"He is a star," Poletti declared.
"He gives his all and he's just a pleasure to train.
"He had trained on so well and in my heart I was confident he could run the trip right out.
"Coming back to weight-for-age was a big help and Shaun rode him perfectly."
Poletti said he would now give Luckygray a break before firming up on future targets.
He is keen to go back to the eastern states in the autumn after his last Melbourne campaign ended prematurely due to the horse contracting a virus.
“He’ll be in the paddock tomorrow and we will give him 2 or 3 weeks before deciding where we go to from here.
"We will be considering races in both Melbourne and Sydney – we have some unfinished business over there.
"Things didn't go our way this year."
O'Donnell said he was eager to go back east to give a healthy Luckygray the chance to show what he could do.
"I want to go back," he said.
"He deserves a chance to race against the best ones again.
"I love this horse. He is the best I've ever ridden."
Born, bred and raised in Queensland, Luckygray has now raced 18 times for 12 wins and earnings of over $1.7million.
Melbourne visitor Wall Street was a late scratching after getting his hind leg caught in the barrier.
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