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Kingston Town Classic

The Kingston Town Classic is named after the famous horse of the 1980’s who won the race in 1982, and is this year being run on Saturday December 3rd. It is the second Group 1 feature of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival and is run over 1,800 metres under weight for age conditions. Prize money on offer is $1,000,000.

The race was originally named the Marlboro 50,000, and was first run in 1976, but has had various name changes over the years as sponsorship has changed. It has also been known as the Western Mail Classic, the Rothwell Stakes, the Fruit ‘N’ Veg Stakes, the Beat Diabetes 2 Stakes, and the Winfield Stakes. The name was officially changed to the Kingston Town classic in 2007.

From 1991 to 2001 the race was run over the shorter distance of 1,600 metres, but reverted to the original distance in 2002.

Kingston Town Classic Betting

This may not be a good race in which to bet on the favourites, just two of them having won the race in the last 10 years, while another four of them have failed to trouble the bookmakers, being unplaced. Six of the last winners of the race over the same period have previously run in the Railway Stakes two weeks earlier, just two of them completing the double: those were Modem in 2004, and Sniper’s Bullet in 2009. The race also seems to favour older horses, only two three year olds having won in the last ten years.

Playing God had back to back wins in 2010 and 2011, but in 2011 only managed 14th place in the Railway Stakes before winning the Kingston Town Classic for the second time.

The race is also noted for being kind to the bookies, since in the last ten years there have been three roughies that have won at 20-1 or more. These included Blevvo in 2002, Early Express in 2005, and Playing God in 2011.

Over the last 30 years, the top trainer has been D. A. Hayes with three winners from 13 starts, while the top jockey has been P. Harvey who has managed four winners from 20 rides.

Lead up races

The obvious lead up race to the Kingston Town Classic is the Railway Stakes. Eight of the 12 winners since 2001 – which was when the Railway Stakes was run before the Kingston Town classic for the first time – have come through that race. Of the other four winners, two of them came via the Group 2 WA Guineas which is run over 1,600 metres.

After the Kingston Town Classic, entrants may decide to stay on for the Group 2 Perth Cup which is run over 2,400 metres on New Year’s Day, or head back over to the Eastern states for the autumn racing.

While the Railway Stakes is the more valuable race of the two, it is possible that the Kingston Town Classic is actually the better quality race, partly owing to the weight for age conditions.

On perhaps a sad note, the 1982 race was the last race that Kingston Town entered, but made the race his own with his 14th Group 1 victory.