Getting in with just 55.5kg, dual Kingston Town Classic winner Playing God is weighted for success and ready to get back to their best in Saturday’s 2013 Railway Stakes according to trainer Neville Parnham.
A full field of gallopers is engaged to face off in the $1 million Group 1 Carlton Draught Railway Stakes (1600m) on the weekend including two brothers from the local stables of Parnham.
One of Perth’s most prolific trainers, Parnham will saddle up Blackfriars six-year-old Playing God and seven-year-old God Has Spoken.
In Railway Stakes betting markets led by Victorian visitor Smokin’ Joey ($5) the best fancied of Parnham’s duo is Playing God at $21.
God Has Spoken, drawn well in barrier three and carrying just 53kg, meanwhile is an $81 roughie.
It’s been a long time between drinks for God Has Spoken who hasn’t won a race since the 2011 CB Cox Stakes two years back.
Playing God meanwhile was last seen in the winners’ stall just last month with their second-up victory over Rohan in the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m) which ended a frustrating two year drought.
That was the stallion’s eighth win, the two most notable of which were their 2010 and 2011 Kingston Town Classic victories.
A bargain buy as a yearling back in 2009 for just $27,000, to date Playing God has amassed over $1.6 million in prize money – a figure Parnham hopes they are capable of adding to this weekend.
Drawn in barrier 13, into 11 if the four emergencies come out, Playing God will be ridden by Steve Parnham on 55.5kg.
It’s a good weight for the grand old horse who had 59kg on their back last start when only one and a half lengths away sixth to Conservatorium, a $15 chance in the Railway Stakes, in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) on November 9.
That was a stellar effort as they ran the last 600m in a blistering 34.12 seconds, the fastest of the pack, and one that has Parnham looking forward to their third-up run this weekend.
“I thought his Lee Steere Stakes run was as good as his Northerly Stakes win,” Parnham told Racing and Waging WA.
“I think he is an excellent chance on Saturday.”
There are plenty of class types above them in the markets including Queensland raider Longport ($6) with 53.5kg, Rob Heathcote’s Brisbane mare Fire Up Fifi ($9) and the Peter Moody-trained Plucky Belle ($8), but Parnham believes Playing God is racing like he was before his Kingston Town win from two years ago.
“His form has been fantastic this time in,” Parnham said.
“I think he is going as well as he was two years ago.”
While a shot at a third $500,000 Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) back at Ascot on December 7 is the main priority for Playing God, Parnham still rates them a top chance in the Railway.
It will be their third appearance in the mile classic.
In 2011 they were a luckless 14th before improving to win the Kingston Town a fortnight later, and last year they were a close fourth to Mr Moet.
Mr Moet ($19) is also back to defend their title but has the extreme outside barrier to overcome.
As for the chances of God Has Spoken, Parnham expects improvement from their Lee Steer Stakes eighth.
Last year they were one and a quarter lengths off Mr Moet when fifth with the same Railway weight they’re allocated on Saturday.
“He ran a super race in last year’s Railway Stakes when he was probably underdone,” Parnham said.
“He is a lot fitter this time in and will get a soft run from the draw.
“I’m not saying he can win it but he will look like running into the money at some point.”
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