Despite being beaten home in the Group 3 R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m) at Ascot Racecourse on the weekend, the Grant Williams-trained Respondent is likely to sneak into the 2014 Railway Stakes field when final acceptances close this afternoon.
The Karnup-based Williams took his consistent Group 2 W.A.T.C. Derby (2400m) winning Haradasun gelding to the races this Saturday gone for a shot at a ballot-free ride into the $1 million Group 1 Carlton Draught Railway Stakes (1600m) seven days later.
The four-year-old tried hard but was beaten a half-length by Bass Strait in the RJ Peters Stakes, seemingly missing out on his shot at Railway Stakes glory.
Even with the Railway Stakes set to attract a capacity 16-horse field at midday local time today, Racing and Wagering WA (RWWA) chief handicapper David Hunter believes Respondent will still sneak into the starting line-up.
“Respondent is likely to jump two ratings points to 90,” he told The West Australian on Monday morning.
“I think in all likelihood that the horse will get into the field.”
Respondent sits on the second line of Railway Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying around $5.50 in markets led by the Mick Burles-trained The Cleaner.
Coming off a third to Hucklebuck in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington from November 8, seven-year-old Tasmanian raider The Cleaner arrived in Perth on Friday.
He is now settled into the local stables of Fred Kersley after a poor start to his trip to WA when getting restless in the truck waiting to be floated onto the plane.
The Cleaner will be on show at Ascot Tuesday morning at ‘The Breakfast With the Stars’, the morning’s proceedings also to include the Railway Stakes barrier draw.
The likely 2014 Railway Stakes field will include entries from:
- Bass Strait
- The Cleaner
- Smokin’ Joey
- Alma’s Fury
- Mr Moet
- Elite Belle
- Platinum Rocker
- Fuchsia Bandana
- Balmont Girl
- Fancy Feet
- God Has Spoken
- Express Service
- Miss Rose De Lago
- Mr Utopia
The capacity field of acceptors will force out Black Heart Bart and Real Love, both unlikely to secure a start.
Blackfriars four-year-old Black Heart Bart ran second to Balmont Girl in the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) on November 1 but then could only manage to run fourth in a blanket finish in the RJ Peters.
Adam Durrant’s Desert King mare Real Love has been in flying form all year including a WA Oaks second and WATC Derby third, and will be balloted out of the Railway even after winning over 1500m in a Benchmark 72+ handicap at the track over the weekend.
The Lark Hill-based Durrant will still be dually represented in field however by his veteran eight-year-old Ranger, to be ridden by Peter Hall, and 2012 Railway Stakes winner Mr Moet.
It will be a remarkable training effort should Mr Moet become a dual winner of the race with the seven-year-old not having raced since December last year.
He’s had two lead-up trials at home however and will benefit from having champion jockey Paul Harvey in the saddle.
Harvey boasts three winning rides in the classic – Willoughby (1998), Old Comrade (2001) and Modem (2004) – and is looking to equal the record of four wins set by Frank Treen.
Sydney’s Chris Waller meanwhile is likely to bypass the race with Moriarty who will instead trial on Monday week ahead of a run in the $500,000 Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot on December 6.
Stay tuned for the official 2014 Railway Stakes field today and the barrier draw tomorrow.
Then visit Ladbrokes.com.au for the updated Railway Stakes odds at the bookie rewarding new players with a $100 bonus bet this season!