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What History Says: Scenic Blast Stakes

Thoroughbred
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This Saturday sees the running of the Listed Scenic Blast Stakes (1200m) at Ascot, which pays tribute to one of the star West Australian gallopers in the past decade.

A field of nine is engaged for this weekend’s feature event.

The distance was changed from 1400m to 1200m in season 1983/84, and was further reduced to 1100m in season 2009/10, however the last two editions of the race have reverted back to 1200m.

The race was run in March as the WATC Stakes for season 2010/11 to season 2013/14.

Prior to 2010/11 it was called the Australia Day Stakes.

For the fifth consecutive season, the race will honour Scenic Blast, who won the Lightning Stakes and Newmarket Handicap at Flemington, before he crowned his career at Royal Ascot by taking out the King’s Stand Stakes in 2009.

Peter Knuckey and Jason Whiting will both be out to record their fourth win in the Scenic Blast Stakes.

Knuckey, who has the ride on Battle Hero this weekend, won the race with Surtee in 1993, Jacks Or Better in 1997 and Noble Sky in 2000.

Whiting was successful in 1999 on Wolf Pack, Twilight Spy in 2004 and Dueton in 2014, he rides Volkoff this weekend.

Paul Harvey has also won the race on three occasions in 1998, 2002 and 2005.

Daniel Staeck can become the first jockey since JJ Miller to ride the winner of the race in back-to-back years, he won the race aboard the Fred Kersley-trained Divine Calling.

This year, Kersley and Staeck team up with North Ridge.

Chris Parnham, Troy Turner and Joe Azzopardi will be looking to ride their first winner in the race this weekend.

Champion jockey William Pike can join the trio on three wins this weekend, when he rides the Dan Morton-trained Dainty Tess.

Morton, who trained Scenic Blast, will be looking to win the race for a second time, after he won the race with Red Ora in 2016.

Red Ora, now under the care of Steve Wolfe, will be looking to be the first multiple winner of the race since Tsunami in 1979 and 1980.

George Daly has been the most successful trainer in the race in recent times, training the winners in 1978, 1993, 1996 and 1997.

Three mares are engaged in this weekend’s event, only seven mares have won the race since 1977, the most recent being Cool Trade in 2015.

Since 1977, barrier four has been the most successful barrier, Red Ora starts from that gate on Saturday afternoon.

The Scenic Blast Stakes jumps at 4.00 on Saturday afternoon.

Tim Walker


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