With the spring nearly over attention turns to west later this month for the start of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival, the first Group 1 of which is the Railway Stakes 2013 where Luckygray is the top-rated nominee.
There are currently 48 entries for this year’s $1 million Group 1 Carlton Draught Railway Stakes (1600m) that will run at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday November 23.
The Trevor Andrews-trained Luckygray leads the list and the weights allocated 58kg, the same weight the Bradbury’s Luck grey carried 12 months ago when prepared by Gary Poletti to run second in the million dollar feature.
Two years ago however Luckygray won the Railway in a controversial protest over He’s Remarkable but carried just 53kg that day.
Luckygray backed up last summer to win the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) a fortnight later and is after their first win since.
After a disappointing Melbourne spring campaign with Robert Smerdon where their best finish was a sixth in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) in September, Luckygray returned to WA for a run last Saturday.
There they came within a length of Conservatorium when fourth in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m).
The Gary Kennewell-trained Lee Steere Stakes winner Conservatorium is also among the Railway Stakes nominations, exempt from ballot, with 56kg.
A Royal Academy six-year-old Conservatorium is based in Adelaide, with experience right around the country, where they ran a brave second to Platelet in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) back in May.
Lee Steere third placegetter Ranger, prepared by Grant Williams, is another notable Railway hope who will get in on just 53kg.
Williams has also nominated for his Ascot Gold Cup winning mare from last Saturday Moonlight Bay, Angel Of Mercy, Mystic Prince, Elite Belle and Galaxy Prince.
Back at the top of the Railway Stakes weights on 58kg with Luckygray is then the defending champ Mr Moet.
Adam Durrant’s Mosayter six-year-old may not have been back in a winners’ stall since their Group 2 CB Cox Stakes (2100m) victory nearly 12 months ago, but they have been racing consistency against top class over the past 12 months.
Two back in Melbourne they were far from disgraced when two and a half lengths away sixth to Fawkner in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) before their fourth, defeated just one and a half lengths by Side Glance, in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Derby Day.
Also high up the weights with 56kg along with Conservatorium is the Wez Hunter-trained Smokin’ Joey.
The Mornington-based Encosta De Lago six-year-old enjoyed a Group 3 win over 1400m at Flemington November 2 and backed up a week later with their close second beaten just a long neck by Boban in Saturday’s Group 1 Emirates Stakes (160m) when carrying just 52.5kg.
As for the other interstate raiders two of the big names are Rob Heathcote’s Fire Up Fifi and the Peter Moody-trained Plucky Belle who sit third and 15th respectively on the latest Railway Stakes order of entry.
Queensland-based Bradbury’s Luck mare Fire Up Fifi enjoyed a stellar spring in Melbourne including her win in the Group 2 Blazer Stakes (1410m) in October and her third to Red Tracer in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) last run on November 2.
Melbourne’s Mossman mare Plucky Belle meanwhile is a last start Flemington winner having defeated Arinosa as a $16 roughie in the Group 3 Lavazza Short Black (1400m) on Melbourne Cup Day from a bad gate.
See below for the full Railway Stakes 2013 nominations and stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the field updates on the classic.
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2013 Railway Stakes Nominations & Weights
Ascot Racecourse – 23/11/2013
|2||MR MOET||58||m112||ADAM DURRANT|
|4||SMOKIN’ JOEY||56||m108||WEZ HUNTER|
|5||PLAYING GOD||55.5||m107||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
|6||GRAND NIRVANA||55||m106||FRED KERSLEY|
|8||FIRE UP FIFI||54||m104||ROB HEATHCOTE|
|9||MUTUAL TRUST(GB)||54||m104||SAM PRITCHARD-GORDON|
|10||KERRIFIC||53.5||m103||B WATKINS & G HITCHCOCK|
|12||AMELIAS DANCER||53||m87||LOU & DION LUCIANI|
|13||ANGEL OF MERCY||53||m94||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|14||BACK TO A WALK||53||m75||GINO POLETTI|
|15||BIPPO NO BUNGUS||53||m75||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
|16||BLACK TYCOON||53||m94||JUSTIN WARWICK|
|17||BLACK UMA||53||m87||JIM TAYLOR|
|18||BORN TO EXCEL||53||m78||DANIEL MORTON|
|19||DARLINGTON ABBEY||53||m81||SIMON A. MILLER|
|21||ELITE BELLE||53||m77||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|23||FULL REIGN||53||m86||PETER & MATT GIADRESCO|
|24||GALAXY PRINCE||53||m76||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|25||GLOBAL FLIRT||53||m89||JUSTIN WARWICK|
|26||GOD HAS SPOKEN||53||m101||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
|27||KEEPERS COURT(NZ)||53||m89||ADAM DURRANT|
|28||LUKE’S LUCK||53||m87||DANIEL MORTON|
|29||MOONLIGHT BAY||53||m96||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|31||MYSTIC PRINCE||53||m86||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|32||ORA DARE||53||m78||ADAM DURRANT|
|33||PIN ROUGE(NZ)||53||m95||KRISTY CASEY|
|34||PLATINUM ROCKER||53||m98||SIMON A. MILLER|
|35||PLUCKY BELLE||53||m97||PETER MOODY|
|36||POP CULTURE||53||m89||COLIN WEBSTER|
|37||PORTONIAN||53||m69||SIMON A. MILLER|
|39||REBELSON||53||m85||DARREN MC AULIFFE|
|40||RED BLAST||53||m73||DANIEL MORTON|
|44||STRIKE THE STARS(NZ)||53||m98||ANTHONY CUMMINGS|
|45||TALENT SHOW||53||m100||GRAEME BALLANTYNE|
|46||THE CORPORATION||53||m87||TREVOR ANDREWS|
|47||VERMEER||53||m95||B WATKINS & G HITCHCOCK|