OUTSTANDING mare Delicacy must overcome both the weight of history and a barrier draw that rarely produces the winner if she is to win Saturday’s G1X.com.au Perth Cup (2400 m) at Ascot.
Shouldered with the top weight of 59 kg, a weight no mare has carried to victory since Artesian lumped the equivalent of 60.5 kg in 1913, Delicacy drew barrier one in the $500,000 G2 race.
While gate one is usually considered a favourable draw, the last horse to win the Perth Cup from that barrier was the Kath Miller-trained Ullyatt in 1986.
But, jockey Peter Hall, who gained the ride on Delicacy, a winner of 11 of her 18 starts, was delighted with the draw. “That’s great,” he enthused.
Real Love, last years’s Perth Cup winner, drew gate 17, but will jump from barrier 13 if all four emergencies don’t gain a start. She jumped from barrier four last year.
Gate 13 has delivered just two of the past 30 Perth Cup winners - Zamalight in 1991 and Rocket Racer in 1987.
Asked about Pike choosing Neverland ahead of Delicacy, prominent owner Bob Peters replied: “We’ll go down together or look like heroes.”
Stablemate Neverland, the mare that leading jockey William Pike selected in preference to Delicacy, drew barrier 10, but if all the emergencies don’t gain a start, she will jump from 7. Luna Tudor, winner of the 2000 Perth Cup, is the last winner to begin from barrier seven.