A bumper final field has been announced to contest the 2013 Railway Stakes at Ascot Racecourse this weekend as the opening Group 1 of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival.
A capacity 16 starters plus four emergencies are accepted for this year’s $1 million Group 1 Carlton Draught Railway Stakes (1600m), one of two Group 1’s along with the $500,000 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) running this weekend.
Early Railway Stakes betting favourite is the Wez Hunter-trained interstate raider Smokin’ Joey.
The Encosta De Lago six-year-old enjoyed a 1400m win over Galah as a $41 outsider on Derby Day before showing that form was no fluke when second to the Chris Waller-trained Boban in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) on November 9.
He next best two in the futures Railway Stakes odds are also out to steal the trophy from the local hopes with the Queensland-trained mares Fire Up Fifi and Longport both accepted for.
Rob Heathcote’s Bradbury’s Luck grey Fire Up Fifi won the Group 2 Blazer Stakes three back and was last seen running a brave third to Red Tracer in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on November 2.
Casino Prince four-year-old Longport also has plenty of Group 1 experience, the now Danny Bougoure-trained mare coming off an Emirates Stakes Day win carrying 57kg – she drops back to 53.5kg for the Railway.
To wear the number one saddlecloth in this year’s Railway Stakes field with the equal 58kg topweight is then the Trevor Andrews-trained 2011 winner Luckygray.
The Bradbury’s Luck six-year-old was also narrow runner-up in the Railway 12 months ago before backing up to win the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) when prepared by Gino Poletti.
They’ve been racing in Melbourne this spring without much luck but looked improved back at Ascot earlier in the month when a length away fourth to Conservatorium in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m).
Gary Kennewell’s Lee Steere winner Conservatorium (56kg) will be out for another win this weekend, but will have to lift going up to the mile against a smart field again here.
The other horse allocated 58kg meanwhile is Adam Durrant’s reigning Railway Stakes champ Mr Moet who hasn’t won a race since the Group 2 CB Cox Stakes (2100m) last December.
The Mosayter six-year-old has been in top form in Victoria this season though including a very brave sixth to Fawkner in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
They dropped down to the 2000m next run when fourth in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) to Side Glance and should appreciate coming back home for this title defense.
Other notable hopes include Neville Parnham’s dual Kingston Town Classic winner Playing God, Fred Kersley’s veteran Scenic eight-year-old Grand Nirvana and Kerrific who won a ballot free ride into the field winning the Group 3 RJ Peters Stakes (1500m) last Saturday.
See below for the official field, the Railway Stakes 2013 barrier draw out on Tuesday.
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2013 Railway Stakes Final Field>
Ascot Racecourse – 23/11/2013
|2||MR MOET||58||m112||–||ADAM DURRANT|
|3||CONSERVATORIUM||56||m108||JOE BOWDITCH||GARY KENNEWELL|
|4||SMOKIN’ JOEY||56||m108||–||WEZ HUNTER|
|5||PLAYING GOD||55.5||m107||STEVEN PARNHAM||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
|6||GRAND NIRVANA||55||m106||PAUL HARVEY||FRED KERSLEY|
|7||KINCAPLE(NZ)||54.5||m105||JARRAD NOSKE||MIKE REED|
|8||FIRE UP FIFI||54||m104||DAMIAN BROWNE||ROB HEATHCOTE|
|9||MUTUAL TRUST(GB)||54||m104||DAMIEN OLIVER||SAM PRITCHARD-GORDON|
|10||KERRIFIC||53.5||m105||DANIEL STAECK||B WATKINS & G HITCHCOCK|
|11||LONGPORT||53.5||m103||CRAIG NEWITT||DANNY BOUGOURE|
|12||GOD HAS SPOKEN||53||m101||BRAD PARNHAM||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
|13||PLATINUM ROCKER||53||m98||PETER KNUCKEY||SIMON A. MILLER|
|14||PLUCKY BELLE||53||m97||LUKE NOLEN||PETER MOODY|
|15||RANGER||53||m102||WILLIAM PIKE||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|16||TALENT SHOW||53||m100||MITCHELL PATEMAN||GRAEME BALLANTYNE|
|17e||MOONLIGHT BAY||53||m96||CHRIS PARNHAM||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|18e||ANGEL OF MERCY||53||m94||–||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|20e||ELITE BELLE||53||m80||–||GRANT WILLIAMS|