Dark Royalty to turn the tables
Trainer Joanne Forrest believes Dark Royalty can turn the tables at his rematch against The Cruel Sea in tomorrow’s 3D Boutique Bar Handicap (1600m) at Kalgoorlie.
Dark Royalty looks back to his best, after a torrid year of injuries, with a win and a second at his two starts at Kalgoorlie this year.
The half-brother to the brilliant Karuta Queen dashed home to land a brilliant 1 ½ length win over 1200m first up on ANZAC Day.
He ran the fastest 600m sectional at 34.18secs, when flashing into second place behind The Cruel Sea over 1400m at his last start on May 6.
The Peter Fernie-trained The Cruel Sea has had an outstanding start to the new season, maintaining an unblemished record at two starts.
Kalgoorlie’s leading jockey Mitchell Pateman goes back on to The Cruel Sea, after comeback apprentice Kate Witten rode the five-year-old to his ¾ length victory 15 days ago.
Apprentice Fiona Bell replaces senior rider Shaun Meeres on Dark Royalty. Meeres is sidelined with a knee injury after falling from Pivarnick in the mounting yard, before the start of the fifth race at Kalgoorlie last Sunday.
Bell rode Black Royalty twice last year for a win over 1400m in June and a third over 1200m at his final start in September.
Bell’s 1.5kg claim reduces Dark Royalty’s handicap to 57.5kg - meeting The Cruel Sea on level weights this time – after he conceded 2.5kg to the latter at their last encounter.
The distance of 1600m is unchartered waters for Dark Royalty, who has notched six wins and two placings from his 14 starts.
“The way he runs home he looks like he should get the trip,” Forrest said. “He always runs the best 600m sectional times.
“He is going really well and I am very happy with him.
“Fiona (Bell) won on him and the second time she rode him it was at the end of his campaign and he was buggered.”
Dark Royalty hit the ground running when he notched four wins from his first five starts at Kalgoorlie in 2015.
A suspensory injury thwarted Forrest’s aspirations to run in the 2015 Goldfields’ Magic Millions, with the gelding forced out of racing for 48 weeks.
Dark Royalty returned to racing last season, collecting a win and a third at seven starts at Kalgoorlie.
The campaign was interrupted by a freakish injury, when he cut the dock of his tail.
“I have no idea how he did it,” Forrest said. “I noticed a bit of blood on a cheek of his buttock and when I lifted his tail I saw he had a big cut down the dock.
“The wound was so serious he needed to have 30 stitches.
“I have never heard of a horse doing that before.
“He then went for a spell and ripped off a large chunk of his hoof.
“It was a bad year for him.
“His weight dropped 30kg to be the lightest of his life.
“But he is now back to his usual weight and doing well.”
The Cruel Sea has raced twice over 1600m, finishing fourth on both occasions at the end of last season.
The clash between the two sons of WA’s perennial champion stallion Blackfriars is one of the highlights of the seven-race card.
Fernie and Pateman, who have flown out of the gates with multiple winners at the three meetings thus far to head their respective titles, look primed to dominate again, combining with The Cruel Sea (Race 1), Madrid Centro (R4), Thidwick The Moose (R5), Tahgeo Jay (R6) and Too Clever (R7).
Fernie’s other runners are Casino Belle (R1), Thug Life (R4), Yeah Yeah Yeah (R5), Miss Kitwe (R6) and Senorita Bonita (R7).
Pateman’s other rides are He’s A Royal (R2) and Dellavedova (R3).
The Kalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Club has confirmed “The Round” dates for this year with the $120,000 TABtouch Hannan’s Handicap (1400m) returning to its traditional day on Wednesday September 20.
The $130,000 XXXX Gold Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m) will be run for the last time on a Sunday (Sept 24).
The running of the historic Cup reverts to a Saturday fixture next year with the three-year trial period as a stand-alone Sunday feature meeting now over.
The $100,000 Boulder Cup (2100m) will be run on Sunday September 17, with the $100,000 Coolgardie Cup (1760m), to be run on a fortnight before.
Conditions of entry into the club’s Goldfields Magic Millions has change with the 1200m race now an open race for 58-plus graded sprinters.
At the MM previous two editions it was restricted to two and three-year-olds.
The race will be held on July 30.