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Heavy support for Disposition as Peters looks to end Round drought

ROBERT EDWARDS
Punters have plunged Disposition into a red hot favourite to end a long hiatus for WA’s premier owner-breeders Bob and Sandra Peters from The Round on a high, in today’s $120,000 Tabtouch Hannan’s Handicap (1400m).
Punters launched into Disposition, who will be ridden by leading jockey William Pike, firming his price from an opening quote at $5.50 into a $2.70 favourite on Tabtouch.
 The Peters family played a key role in past Rounds, winning two Kalgoorlie Cups with Paragon Of Virtue (1986) and Powerful Prince (1996).
Congressman went within a breath of claiming the Cups’ treble, when narrowly beaten by Call Me Kiwi in the 1987 Kalgoorlie Cup, after winning the Boulder and Coolgardie cups.
Congressman was transferred to Victorian trainer George Hanlon and won the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes and ran second to Imposera in the 1988 Caulfield Cup.
Peters considered selling Disposition at the Perth Thoroughbred and Racehorse sale at Belmont Park in late June, but decided to preserve with the six-year-old.
A change of environment was in order and Disposition was switched from the stables of Grant and Alana Williams to Adam Durrant, after his eighth to Scales Of Justice in the Strickland Stakes (2000m) on July 1.
Durrant, who won the Hannan’s with the ill-fated Texan (2012) and Keyton Grace (2007), has tinkered with Disposition’s gear, removing the blinkers and the tongue-tie.
The road to Kalgoorlie’s signature sprint was laid when Bob Peters met Durrant at the Lark Hill trials last month.
“Adam brought the horse to the trials,” Peters said. “He wasn’t trialing but he wanted to show me how well he looked.
“He’s always been a bit of a fatty but he was as trim as I have ever seen him.
“We were looking at races a few weeks down the track like the Birthday Stakes to kick off his spring.
“Adam suggested because he had come up so early that we run him in the Hannan’s.
“He didn’t draw too well (11) at the start but with the withdrawals he has come into a nice barrier in six.
“We are looking at the early spring (Belmont and Ascot) races with him, where he will have fitness on his side against other horses, who will be resuming and won’t be as fit.
“We have not been to The Round for some time because generally our horses are not ready for it, as they are being prepared for the races later in the spring and summer at Ascot.”
Disposition was placed at the elite level three times, with seconds in the Toorak Handicap and Rupert Clarke Stakes, in Melbourne, and in the Kingston Town Classic, in Perth.
But his last win was in the Guvera Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on October 21, 2015.
The drought has seen Disposition drop from 107 to 98 rating points.
Disposition, handicapped with top-weight on 59kg, must equal Corporate Bruce’s metric weight-carrying record set in 2002, if he is to win.
Disposition heads into the Hannan’s without a barrier trial, but Pike is confident he is primed for the race.
“I rode him in a gallop and he worked strong,” Pike, who rode a treble at Belmont last Saturday and won last Wednesday’s Balaklava Cup, said.
“I think he’ll go very good.
“This is the easiest assignment he’s had for a while and if he bounces back he’ll give it a big shake.”
Trainer Anne King is hoping her dream run continues with Miki Two Toes, after claiming her career biggest wins in the Farnley Stakes (Miki Two Toes) and last Sunday’s Boulder Cup with Already Famous.
Alan Kennedy is again booked to ride Miki Two Toes, who yesterday eased from $4.60 to $6, on 56kg.
Miki Two Toes is having his second crack at the Hannan’s, after running eighth to Royal Rada in the 2015 edition.
Red Ora lumped top-weight on 59kg in the 2015 Hannan’s and stormed home to finish a close third.
The six-year-old plummets to the limit on 54kg and will be ridden by Coolgardie Cup winning jockey Chris Parnham today.
Trainer Dan Morton was impressed by Red Ora’s first up start, working home strongly to run fifth (beaten 1 ¾ lens) in last Saturday week’s Farnley (1400m).
“He got back through the field and I liked the way he ran to the line,” Morton said.
“It was a good hit out towards Kalgoorlie.
“He goes well fresh and we targeted this race for him a long time ago.”
 
Tabtouch had Red Ora a $3.30 favourite in 2015. He has firmed from $9 into $8 this year.
“He drew wide (15) that year and had a difficult run whereas this year he has drawn one and should get a better run,” Morton said.
Tabtouch has Dark Royalty installed as the best of the local contingent to repel the Perth raiders as a $4.40 second favourite.
The half-brother to the brilliant mare Karuta Queen, has been in sensational form lumping big weights on 60.5kg and 59kg to win at his past two Kalgoorlie starts.
Shaun McGruddy rode Dark Royalty to narrowly beat Thidwick The Moose in last Sunday week’s Kambalda Cup (1400m).
Dark Royalty dives five kilos to the limit on 54kg today, but he strikes far hotter opposition.
Dark Royalty has bounced back from a suspensory injury, which thwarted trainer Joanne Forrest’s plans to contest the Kalgoorlie Magic Millions in 2015.
The son of Blackfriars, who drew three, likes to drop out and flood home in his races.
“I don’t think he can afford to get so far back in this field,” Forrest said.
“He has worked great and I am happy with him.”
Invitation jockey Clare Lindop is booked to ride the rank outsider Comanche Red ($91).
Lindop has enjoyed success on “roughies” in the past – winning the 2008 Victoria Derby on Rebel Raider at $101.
“He has been unlucky at his past few starts,” trainer Neville Newton said yesterday. “He got down in the gates and then last start he couldn’t get a crack at them in the straight.
“I couldn’t get into the yard with him this morning so he is feeling very well.
“He jumps well and goes quick so you never know.”
Leading Kalgoorlie trainer Peter Fernie gang-tackles the Hannan’s, saddling Casino Belle ($41), Prohurst Express ($11), The Cruel Sea ($41) and Thidwick The Moose ($11).
Peter Hall is the new rider on Roger The Roman ($10), who drops seven kilos to 54kg on his last start win in the Broome Sprint (1300m) on August 13.
Ascot trainer Simon Miller has booked Joseph Azzopardi to ride Key To Fame, who has firmed from $8 into $7.
Key To Fame was fresh from a spell when he ran a 1 ¼ length fourth in the Farnley.
The son of Al Maher capped his previous campaign in style, stringing together successive week-to-week wins over 1400m at Ascot in April.
 "I've set the horse for the race," Miller said. "He has never gone first up over 1400m in the past and he usually goes through graded races before he is lifted in class.
This time he ran first up over 1400m and in a Listed race.
"He felt the pinch at the end but I was really happy with his effort."
Miller's first ever starter in WA was Larson who ran fifth to Fim Maru in the 2008 Hannan's.