BIGDADDYKOOL, PERFECT NEIGHBOUR to clash for Prime Minister's Stakes
The country's best two-turn horses, BIGDADDYKOOL and PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, meet at 10 furlongs for the first time since last November's Superstakes, locking horns in this afternoon's Prime Minister's Stakes.
They are joined in the route race by Great Britain-bred KALAMATA, the well-bred four-year-old filly, who continues to train like a champion at exercise but is yet to reproduce that form in two starts locally. However, with the visor being fitted this afternoon, punters should not rush to write off the importee, especially at 10 furlongs and carrying 52.0 kilos.
BIGDADDYKOOL has topweight 57.0 kilos, a reversal in the handicaps with PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, who had that burden in the Superstakes as an older horse. BIGDADDYKOOL, a three-year-old then, carried 54.0 kilos in the weight-for-age grade one race.
Awarded the Superstakes in the stewards' room after finishing a neck behind disqualified FRANFIELD, BIGDADDYKOOL was six lengths ahead of PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, running seven pounds lighter.
The pair met again in December's Diamond Mile in which BIGDADDYKOOL closed strongly for second, four pounds lighter than PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, who did not fire at all in the race won by his stablemate and defending champion, SEEKING MY DREAM.
BIGDADDYKOOL pretty much had the last distance race of the season, the Harry Jackson Memorial, to himself as PERFECT NEIGHBOUR was a no-show.
Therefore, renewing rivalry with topweight, six pounds heavier than PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, who has had five outings this season and was three-and-a-half lengths ahead of him at seven furlongs recently, BIGDADDYKOOL will have to rely on the distance being in his favour to come out on top.
PERFECT NEIGHBOUR returned this season a rejuvenated seven-year-old, getting the better of BIGDADDYKOOL in a seven-furlong sprint behind HOUDINI'S MAGIC and CAMPESINO.
Gelded earlier this year, PERFECT NEIGHBOUR posted back-to-back victories - a down-in-class open allowance stroll against SUPERLUMINAL at 1820 metres and a driving finish over BRAWN in the nine-furlong Viceroy Trophy.
Though PERFECT NEIGHBOUR has the weight to his advantage, the race should come back to BIGDADDYKOOL. Up-and-coming WILL IN CHARGE, who is nicely in at 49.5 kilos for his grade one 1 debut, could hang around long enough on the lead, ensuring an honest pace.
A determined stretch runner, BIGDADDYKOOL gets the edge. There is very little between their winning times at 1820 metres this season. PERFECT NEIGHBOUR clocked 1:54.3 to beat SUPERLUMINAL whereas BIGDADDYKOOL posted 1:55.0 in taking out BRAWN.