Perth for Pantani
CONNECTIONSof Pantani will be chasing a consolation prize when the veteran stayer lines up in Monday’s Group Two Perth Cup at Ascot.
Trainer Robbie Laing was left fuming when the eightyear-old failed to secure a Melbourne Cup berth for the second successive year following the Victoria Racing Club committee’s decision to promote Glistening into the field ahead of him.
Pantani will get the chance to make amends in the Perth Cup, run over his pet distance of 3200m.
The Victorian-trained galloper has already arrived in Western Australia ahead of his New Year’s Day assignment and Laing said there would be no excuses.
‘‘He’s settled in well and he’s fit,’’ Laing said.
‘‘We know he’ll run the two miles and I couldn’t be happier with him.’’
Half of Pantani’s six career wins have been over the Perth Cup journey, the latest of them coming in the 2 0 0 5 L i s t e d A n d r e w Ramsden Stakes at Flemington which he won first-up from a five-month spell.
Pantani was one of 18 horses left in the Perth Cup when acceptances were taken yesterday.
He will be Laing’s sole representative following the trainer’s decision not to press on with Australian Cup winner Roman Arch, who was t h e o r i g i n a l topweight.
As a result, all weights for Monday’s feature have been raised 1kg with English galloper Land ’N Stars now heading weights at 57kg, 1kg more than Black Tom and 2kg more than Pantani.
Neither Railway Stakes winner Belle Bizarre nor the David Hayes-trained Railway runner-up Confectioner were among acceptances, although Hayes will still be represented in the race by Purde.
CAN STAY . . . Kevin Forrester brings Pantani back to scale after their Adelaide Cup success in 2004