Excitement is building ahead of Saturday’s $150,000 Crown Perth — Northerly Stakes (1400m) at Ascot. Two South West hoops — Bunbury’s Kyra Yuill and Myalup’s Lucy Warwick — have been booked for the feature, aboard Uni Time (trained by Sharon Miller) and Taxagano (trained by Fred Kersley) respectively. The William Pike-ridden Western Empire looks to be among the favourites heading into Saturday, and has drawn well with barrier five. Throw in his two impressive trial wins at Lark Hill over the past month and the gelding has not tasted defeat since February 13. Another to consider is Stephen Miller-trained Last Of The Line, who will be running first-up from barrier one. Despite not having won since February 20, two of his last three runs over 1400m resulted in victories, so the distance is unlikely to faze him. It’ll be a busy weekend for Yuill, who on Sunday will take part in the HBF fitness challenge for Telethon. In a battle of the codes between thoroughbred jockeys and pacing drivers, Yuill and five other jockeys will ride in a six-hour relay in a bid to raise money for the cause.