She may be at double figures for her Perth debut this Saturday after drawing the visitor’s gate but Melbourne mare Yosei is a still definite contender in the Railway Stakes 2012 according to her trainer Stuart Webb.
A triple Group 1 winner having won the 2010 AJC Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes, 2010 Thousand Guineas and most recently the 2011 Tattersall’s Tiara, Invincible Spirit five-year-old Yosei is one of four interstate acceptors for WA’s richest race this weekend – the $1 million Group 1 Carlton Draught Railway Stakes (1600m).
In an early blow for the daughter of Invincible Spirit, who has won a total of only four of her 31 career starts to date, Yosei drew the extreme outside barrier coming up with 18 (into 16 with emergencies out) for the Railway.
Still her recent form this spring indicates she is not without her chances in the mile showdown having run a good third to Solzhenitsyn in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield three back.
She was most recently seen crossing just one and a half lengths away fourth to Happy Trails in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day and Webb is hoping it is that form, and not her 12th in the Myer Classic on Derby Day, that she brings to Ascot on the weekend.
He also hopes that the far outside gate will actually work in her favour and not rule her out of a top three finish.
“There’s been plenty of times she’s drawn barrier one and settled last and that would be the plan for Saturday,” Webb said.
“I would imagine when they jump, Michael (Rodd) will just pop over her neck and they will go back and try and get on the fence.”
The latest Railway Stakes betting markets are led by defending champ Luckygray ($3.40) who won the race 12 months ago on protest but who must carry the 58kg topweight this year.
Yosei can be found a bit further down the odds at a quote of $15, equal with dual Kingston Town Classic winner Playing God, a price that Webb believes is generous.
“She’s been a great competitor,” he said.
“She’s done it from her two-year-old days.
“She’s run in 20 Group 1 races and, after Saturday, she’ll have run in every mainland Australian state at that level.
“We have been competitive with (fellow Railway rivals) Wall Street and Fat Al.
“I think the form from the Epsom, Toorak and Emirates will hold strong.”
Yosei showed she was ready for the Railway with a strong gallop at Ascot on Wednesday morning.
“She is a good worker,” Webb said.
“(Jockey) Troy (Turner) was impressed by her cruising speed and she has pulled up good.
“She is really well for a mare who has been up for a while now.
“She just loves working and racing and makes my job easy.”
After Saturday Yosei will be sent to the paddock for a well-earned spell before returning for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival where her targets will include the Coolmore Classic, Queen of the Turf Stakes and the Doncaster Mile 2013.
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