Sam Pritchard-Gordon’s progressive gelding Mutual Trust has been confirmed as one of the final Railway Stakes 2013 acceptors set to run in the Perth classic at Ascot Racecourse this Saturday.
With acceptances for this year’s $1 million Group 1 Carlton Draught Railway Stakes (1600m) being taken today, a host of top interstate raiders are set to make the trip west this year including the Mornington-based Mutual Trust.
The imported Cacique five-year-old had their opening seven starts overseas, the first four of which they won in France including the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat (1600m) in 2011.
They’ve been racing down under for Pritchard-Gordon since March this year where they’ve failed to win a race from six starts here.
Their best effort came last run at Sale on October 27 where they finished a length away second to Mouro in the Sale Cup over the mile.
It came on the back of a brave sixth, defeated only three lengths, behind Solzhenitsyn in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield a fortnight earlier.
The strength of the Sale Cup form was reinforced at Caulfield over the weekend too with the winner Mouro backing up to defeated favourite Rain Drum in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m).
“I was happy with Mouro winning the Eclipse yesterday, it vindicated my decision (to run in the Railway Stakes),” Pritchard-Gordon said on Sunday.
“It’s a credit to (trainer) Tony McEvoy. He said that Mouro was a top-class horse to me after he won the Sale Cup so I’m very pleased at this stage that we decided to go down this road.”
As for Mutual Trust, they’re running in the heat this Saturday on a likely Good track for the Railway.
Their trainer believes they are on the improve and stand a good chance on the weekend having made the decision to bypass the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) earlier in the month.
“In the Easter Cup (when dead last to Jet Away over 2000m in March) he was charging up on the pace and he was never going to win a race like that so we gelded him and have been trying to re-educate him,” Pritchard-Gordon explained to Racing Victoria.
“We rode him very negatively at his first two starts this preparation and the idea was to try and teach him some racing manners and he’s now very versatile.
“I didn’t think he was good enough to win the Emirates, he’s not up to (the winner) Boban’s quality, but he’s hopefully that second tier Group 1 handicap horse when he gets in with a nice weight.”
Mutual Trust is allocated just 54kg for the Railway Stakes, three and a half kilos less than they carried in the Sale Cup, and will be ridden by this year’s Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver.
“This is the grand final,” Pritchard-Gordon said.
“How he goes on Saturday will dictate what we do next with the horse.
“He’s in great order. He had a very quiet trial on Tuesday which was more than anything just to ensure that he had a decent track to have a gallop on.
“Matthew Allen rode him and said he was delighted with how he feels. He said he was bright and bouncy and it felt like there was plenty left in the tank.”
Current futures Railway Stakes betting markets are led by another Mornington galloper, the Wez Hunter-trained Smokin’ Joey who was runner-u to Boban last start in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
Mutual Trust meanwhile can be found much further down the markets at a quote of $26, a price set to shorten once the official Railway Stakes 2013 final field is out later this afternoon.
The Railway Stakes barrier draw will follow on Tuesday with Races.com.au to publish he full list of acceptors and gates.
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