Perfect Neighbour to get ideal run
PERFECT NEIGHBOUR returns to his favoured route course, going nine furlongs and 25 yards in the Mark My Word Trophy, co-feature with the traditional Labour Day Trophy on the 10-race holiday card.
Though getting on in age at seven years old, PERFECT NEIGHBOUR remains one of the best two-turn horses in the country, finishing fourth in November's Superstakes behind disqualified winner FRANFIELD, BIGDADDYKOOL and SEEKING MY DREAM.
Having not won a race in more than a year, quite fortuitously too, after stablemate POKER STAR decked Robert Halledeen at 1200 metres in the Lady Geeta Trophy, PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, a grade-one resident, has been racing down in class against open allowance horses in two starts this season.
He was no match for his quicker and younger rivals at 1500 metres and a mile in races won by PINELOPE and 2000 Guineas winner FEARLESS SAMURAI, on February 25 and April 29, respectively.
In both instances, he was returning off two-month lay-ups, rested by trainer Wayne DaCosta after averaging a grade-one race per month for the last half of 2016, running against stablemate SEEKING MY DREAM, FRANFIELD and BIGDADDYKOOL without a break, right back to December's Diamond Mile.
After finishing four lengths behind PINELOPE on February 25, he got noticeably closer on April 29, beaten a length and a half into third place by FEARLESS SAMURAI and superfit ANOTHER BULLET in a fast mile - 1:37.4 - indicating he is rounding back into shape, which his exercise reports also support a bullet 1:06.4 for five and a half furlongs on Friday.
Ian Parsard's SUPERLUMINAL is the danger horse after his battling victory against WILL IN CHARGE at nine furlongs on April 26 in the overnight allowance Simply Magic Trophy. The splits were really fast and SUPERLUMINAL, the 2015 St Leger winner, showed grit to repel WILL IN CHARGE after gunning 46.2, 1:10.4 and 1:37.3 for the first mile out of the chute.
PERFECT NEIGHBOUR and SUPERLUMINAL actually met in last October's 10-furlong Governor General's Stakes. SUPERLUMINAL had recorded back-to-back wins and jumped class, skipping open allowance to race in grade one.