One of the early favourites to win the 2011 Railway Stakes at Ascot on Saturday week, the Mark Webb-trained Reset mare Avienus suffered a slight setback after suffering from travel sickness from her plane trip from Melbourne to Perth on Tuesday evening.
The Group 2 winning six-year-old is currently preparing to contest her sixth elite level race, the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) on November 19, her best result in a thoroughbred major to date being a close second to Descarado in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 8.
Her Railway Stakes campaign, however, was thrown off balance when Avienus was rushed to a clinic soon after arriving in Western Australia and was still under veterinarian observation on Wednesday.
2011 Railway Stakes Odds
“She didn’t have a great flight and got stressed out,” Webb said.
“She was a bit dehydrated but was calmed down within about half an hour.
“It was her first flight and she hasn’t done a great deal of travel.”
Avienus, who was disappointing in the Cox Plate finishing 13th two starts back, was last seen running fourth to Vintedge in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day.
Despite Avienus’ bout of travel sickness Webb, who is due to arrive in Perth on Friday, is confident his class contender will make a full recovery in time for the Railway and plans to work her at Ascot for the first time on Saturday.
“She seems to be going well now and the vets are confident she’s all right,” Webb said.
“She hasn’t missed anything (any work) and thankfully coming back from 2000 metres (to 1600m), we don’t need to do much with her work-wide.
“Hopefully everything’s back on track.”
With around 50 horses still entered for the Railway Stakes this year, Avienus is considered one of the best chances.
Webb believes so too, so long as they draw a favourable Railway Stakes barrier.
“With a good draw she can get a nice position in running and she’ll be a good chance,” he said, Avienus having made up a lot of ground in the Matriarch last start after jumping wide from gate 13 of 16.
“We’ve met most of the other Eastern States horses and beaten some of them.”
Grant Williams’ last-start Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes winner Ranger currently dominates the Railway Stakes odds at Luxbet at a quote of $3.80 and is followed by in-form four-year-old Luckygray ($5.50) who is undefeated in three this season and the Neville Parnham-trained Group 1 winner Playing God ($7.50).
Avienus is then equal $10 fourth-favourite along with Fred Kersley’s ultra-consistent six-year-old Grand Nirvana and Kiwi visitor He’s Remarkable coming off a narrow Emirates Stakes Day win at Flemington.
To view the full list of Railway Stakes odds and lock in your early favourites before prices firm with the release of the final field on Monday, head to Luxbet now.
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