Scenic Lodge champion Blackfriars boosted his chances for the G1 Railway Stakes when iron-horse Kerrific won the G3 R J Peters Stakes at Ascot last Saturday.
Kerrific leads a trio by Blackfriars for the $1 million mile ahead of Group 1 winning brothers Playing God and God Has Spoken. A fourth contender – Rohan – is third emergency and unlikely to gain a start.
Playing God can play a hand in the Railway, however, his main goal is winning a third G1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on December 7.
Kerrific (7g Blackfriars – Striking Zoe by Tribu) will be backing up for the third week in a row and will have to emulate El Presidente (2007) and Northerly (2000) who completed the Peters Stakes – Railway double.
Trainer Bruce Watkins prepared El Presidente and he believes Kerrific can keep progressing on Super Saturday. “He’s so consistent and it was a huge effort to carry 59.5kg and win on Saturday. We’ve had to rush him into the Railway but he pulled up well and is looking for 1600 metres.”
Kerrific is the first foal of Bunbury maiden winner Striking Zoe and has won 13 races and $567,000. Part-owner and breeder Mazzin Kaddoura also has his unnamed 2yo brother and bred the mare back to Blackfriars this year.
Blackfriars (Danehill) has won the last three West Australian premierships and holds a healthy lead again this season heading into the Ascot summer carnival. He will be a moral for a fourth title with another million-dollar result in the Railway.
– Karl Patterson