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Kersley’s Karrakatta hope steps to plate

Quality colt Debellatio will emerge as Seannie’s biggest threat in next month’s $500,000 Karrakatta Plate (1200m) if he passes his first major test in today’s Listed Perth Stakes (1100m) at Ascot.

A brilliant last-start Ascot winner, Debellatio is $6 second favourite behind Seannie ($3.20) for the Karrakatta, on April 1.

Punters expect Seannie to maintain her unblemished record when she starts as a $1.90 favourite in today’s Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes (1100m).

Trainer Fred Kersley said Debellatio had held his form since bolting in by 21/2 lengths in a midweek race last month.

However, Kersley is cautious about Debellatio’s outside draw in the field of 10, and several of his rivals today.

“He’s had a few weeks between runs, but he’s kept himself up to it,” he said.

“Barrier 10 won’t help and Keeper Keen, Riasc and Reykjavik are going to play a part in the race. It’s a telling race.

“These are the best two-year-old colts and geldings around and the next test will be taking on the best fillies.

“Debellatio is such a big, rangy horse and you wonder how much you do with him as a two-year-old.”

Debellatio heads the TAB’s Perth Stakes market at $2.75.

Daniel Staeck retains the ride.

Kersley also has $18 shot Resistance in the Gimcrack.

The Rogano filly ran second to Reykjavik on debut 10 days ago.

“Her first-up effort was very, very good,” Kersley said. “How she measures up against the proven fillies remains to be seen, but I think she’s a good filly.”

Ben Paterson is booked to ride Resistance from barrier four.

Meanwhile, the Karrakatta and Group 3 WA Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) are on the agenda for Pure Gem after his stylish Ascot win yesterday.

Ridden by Chris Parnham, Pure Gem ($4.60) charged home from midfield to beat Money Maher ($3.90 favourite) in the Yellowglen Plate (1200m).

“The Sires is the one we’ve always had designs on,” trainer Dan Morton said.

“The Karrakatta I’ve always thought might be too sharp for him, but it’s a stepping stone.

“For him to be able to balance up and find the line like he did was a good sign.”

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