The final field for the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot this Saturday was announced on Monday afternoon, with 16 horses plus four emergencies accepting for the $1 million feature race.
The field consists of both local and interstate talent, with a number of talented horses travelling from Melbourne and Sydney to claim the winning trophy, led by cult hero The Cleaner.
The Mick Burles-trained gelding is set to carry the top weight of 58 kilograms in the race, on par with the weight he carried in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) last time out in which he fought hard to finish third. He was the favourite in the futures betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, which will likely continue when the market reopens shortly.
The seven-year-old is searching for his first Group One win after making his debut at the highest level of racing two starts ago in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m). The natural leader had a successful spring campaign in Melbourne, with back-to-back wins in the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) and Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m). He proved he is successful over the mile last time out and will be the one to beat on Saturday.
Other top eastern-trained horses making the trip over to Perth include Moriarty and Smokin’ Joey.
The Chris Waller-trained Moriarty enjoyed success during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival but the gelding was hit and miss during the spring. He finished midfield his first two times out before a last place finish in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) due to a flat foot run.
He turned it around on October 4 for a win in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m), in which he grabbed the front in the concluding stages. However after that he finished end of the field in both the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m). The gelding will step down to the mile for just the second time this year.
Smokin’ Joey is looking to atone for his run in last year’s Railway Stakes, in which he started as favourite but finished last.
“He warrants another shot at the race,” trainer Wez Hunter said.
The seven-year-old gelding encountered a problem on the flight to Perth after he took some skin off his legs in the final stages of the trip. He seems to have come through it well though, going to the beach and appearing well.
He comes off a last-start seventh in the Emirates Stakes but his run wasn’t as bad as it looks on paper. He was only three and a half lengths off the winner Hucklebuck and settled about where he finished.
Of course the talented Perth runners set to tackle the visitors in the 2014 Railway Stakes can’t be overlooked.
Ihtsahymn, Elite Belle, and Platinum Rocker are just some of the locals lining up against the big names.
The Fred Kersley-trained Ihtsahymn enjoyed plenty of success in the 2013-14 Perth Summer Racing Carnival, finishing first two in seven consecutive races including the Group 2 W.A. Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
He returned to Ascot after five months off but has failed to finish in the placings in any of his three starts.
Elite Belle is one of three horses representing trainer Grant Williams in the 2014 Railway Stakes after winning three straight races including the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) on October 25. The mare missed out on a placing in the Group 2 Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) by just half a length last time out and is in good form ahead of this Saturday’s feature race.
Simon Miller will deliver a dual-pronged attack on the Railway Stakes 2014 with Platinum Rocker and Miss Rose De Lago. Seven-year-old mare Platinum Rocker was third in the Lee Steere last time out and is hoping to finish one better in the Railway after coming second to Luckgray in last year’s race, missing out on the win by just half a length.
Check out the complete 2014 Railway Stakes final field below. The barrier draw will be released on Tuesday morning, so make sure you check back for all the latest news.
Make sure you back your Railway Stakes winner at Ladbrokes.com.au to receive your winnings as soon as the horses pass the post.
2014 Railway Stakes Final Field
|1||THE CLEANER||58||113||STEVEN ARNOLD||MICK BURLES|
|2||MORIARTY (IRE)||57||111||TBA||CHRIS WALLER|
|3||SMOKIN’ JOEY||56||109||BEN MELHAM||WEZ HUNTER|
|4||ALMA’S FURY||55.5||108||MICHAEL RODD||TONY GOLLAN|
|5||MR MOET||55.5||108||PAUL HARVEY||ADAM DURRANT|
|6||IHTSAHYMN||54.5||106||STEVEN PARNHAM||FRED KERSLEY|
|7||ELITE BELLE||53.5||104||WILLIAM PIKE||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|8||AMORINO||53||103||SHAUN MEERES||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|9||BALMONT GIRL||53||91||SHAUN O’DONNELL||PAULA WAGG|
|10||BASS STRAIT (NZ)||53||92||CHRIS PARNHAM||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
|11||CHESTER ROAD||53||102||PETER HALL||ADAM DURRANT|
|12||FANCY FEET||53||90||TBA||SHANE QUILTY|
|13||FUCHSIA BANDANA||53||95||JARRAD NOSKE||DARREN MC AULIFFE|
|14||PLATINUM ROCKER||53||102||PETER KNUCKEY||SIMON A. MILLER|
|15||RANGER||53||96||DOM TOURNEUR||ADAM DURRANT|
|16||RESPONDENT||53||90||BRAD PARNHAM||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|17e||TRADING DAY||53||90||JASON WHITING||WARREN WILSON|
|18e||EXPRESS SERVICE||53||89||TBA||DARREN MC AULIFFE|
|19e||MISS ROSE DE LAGO||53||84||JASON BROWN||SIMON A. MILLER|
|20e||REBELSON||53||88||TBA||DARREN MC AULIFFE|