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Racing – Scenic gets another shot

The last Group One horse race of 2009 will be run in Perth today, and Ben Asgari reckons it will be third time lucky for Scenic Shot.

In the last Group One event of 2009, Scenic Shot has a great chance of adding to what is fast becoming an impressive CV by winning the Kingston Town Classic at Perth’s Ascot racecourse. After racing against the very best at weight for age in Melbourne, the Kingston Town field is a significant drop in class.

Yet despite being freshened, Scenic Shot will have to handle the drop from 2400 to 1800 metres which is a furlong short of his best distance. Barrier one is also not ideal and will leave jockey Jason Brown with a bit of work to do in order to get the horse out and rolling, as is his preferred racing pattern.  Last start Railway Stakes winner, Sniper’s Bullet, who looks to be his main rival, has drawn the outside barrier.

But is this a race that Scenic Shot is destined to win? He’s had two previous starts in the race, running ninth as a three year-old in 2005 before a well beaten second behind Niconero a year later as a four year-old. Although now seven, he is racing in career-best form and is a deserved favourite to take out the final group one event of 2009.

In Melbourne, meanwhile, talented mare Chameleon resumes today for trainer Paul Snowden in the CF Carrier Handicap at Caulfield over 1200 metres. She has drawn barrier eight and will be ridden by Mark Zahra, who is in great form after only last weekend riding a double for the stable at Moonee Valley. Having never finished out of the first three in her three previous first up attempts, Chameleon has a strong chance to add to her first-up record here.

When resuming last preparation she stormed through the field for an impressive win down the Flemington straight, beating a handy field. Despite the rise to open mares grade, she should figure prominently in the finish if she can reproduce that sort of run here. Interestingly, both of her last two preparations have culminated in a 1600 metre race in which she has failed to convince that she can run out the distance. All of her best form has been between the 1200-1400 metre range and it could well be that she is at her best when kept to the sprint trips.

Barrier eight should be perfect as she will settle off the speed and look to come to the outside in the straight. Her main danger could perhaps be another mare that is first up here and will also look to get to the outside and finish over the top of them in the Tony Noonan-trained Ravishing Reward.

Ben Asgari is upstart’s racing writer.

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