The Mick Burles-trained cult Tasmanian galloper The Cleaner leads a capacity field of gallopers engaged to face off in the Railway Stakes 2014 at Perth’s Ascot Racecourse this Saturday.
Final acceptances for WA’s richest race, the $1 million Group 1 Carlton Draught Railway Stakes (1600m), closed this afternoon and Perth Racing have announced a full line-up of 16 starters plus four emergency runners.
To wear the number one saddlecloth and carry the 58kg top weight with Steven Arnold in the saddle is the Longford-based Savoire Vivre seven-year-old The Cleaner, coming off a third to Hucklebuck in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
Winner of four on the trot at Moonee Valley earlier this campaign the consistent miler has won over 1600m eight times before, most recently in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes on September 6 and is stabled with local horseman Fred Kersley for his Ascot bid.
After initially looking to bypass the race for a Monday week trial and go straight into the December 6 Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m), Sydney’s premier horseman Chris Waller has accepted for Moriarty.
The Clodovil gelding has been hit-and-miss this season with his runs including a disappointing 14th to the ill-fated Admire Rakti in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and last start eighth behind Happy Trails in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 1.
Moriarty carries 57kg with a rider still to be confirmed for the Sydneysider.
The next heaviest weighted in the Railway Stakes field with 56kg is then Ben Melham’s mount, the Wez Hunter-trained The Goodwood winner Smokin’ Joey.
Upset 40-1 winner of the Group 1 sprint in Adelaide, Encosta De Lago gelding Smokin’ Joey hasn’t won a race since The Goodwood back in May.
Hunter however believes the Mornington-based seven-year-old has improvement in him after a seventh in the Emirates Stakes, where he was forced to race wide, and he has settled well since arriving in Perth on Friday.
Another notable Eastern state raider is the Tony Gollan-trained seven-year-old Alma’s Fury who gets in on 55.5kg with Michael Rodd booked for the ride.
The Refuse To Bend gelding comes off a second to subsequent Emirates Stakes winner Hucklebuck in the Group 3 Yellowglen Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on November 1 with the Brisbane-based Gollan hoping he can continue to frank that form going down from the 57.5kg he carried in that Derby Day showdown.
Also on 55.5kg in the Railway Stakes weights is Adam Durrant’s Lark Hill-trained son of Mosayter Mr Moet who will be ridden by three-time winning jockey Paul Harvey.
Harvey is after a record-equaling fourth win in the race, his first since 2004, and jumps aboard Mr Moet for the first time.
Mr Moet meanwhile is also a previous Railway Stakes winner having carried just 53.5kg to victory first-up two years ago defeating Luckygray who 14 days later turned the tables on him in the Kingston Town Classic.
A class galloper on his day, Mr Moet has suffered some recent setbacks and hasn’t raced since a sixth in the Group 2 CB Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot in December last year.
He has however been solid in two trial runs at home leading up to this and Durrant will be hoping he can repeat the feat from two years ago.
Durrant has also accepted for Chester Road, to be ridden by Peter Hall, and Ranger who is a Dom Tourneur mount – both on the 53kg minimum.
Tiger Hill gelding Chester Road is first-up here coming off an even longer break not having raced since December of 2012.
He won the Carbine Club of WA Stakes on this day 24 months ago before a Kingston Town eighth and then a last start second behind stable mate Mr Moet in the CB Cox.
Ranger meanwhile has had two runs this time in, both unplaced, the last of which was a second last when eighth to Magnifisio in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) on November 8.
Following The Cleaner in the Railway Stakes odds are then the likes of the Grant Williams-trained stable mates Respondent and Elite Belle.
Haradasun four-year-old Respondent made the cut after his ratings were lifted just enough thanks to a close second behind Bass Strait in the Group 3 R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m) at the track last Saturday.
Winner of the Group 2 WATC Derby (2400m) last April, the gelding’s been in top form this time in improving with each run and will thrive over the distance with only 53kg after carrying 58.5kg in the RJ Peters.
Elite Belle will carry only half a kilo more with William Pike on 53.5kg, the six-year-old Canny Lad mare looking to retain her undefeated status over the mile.
She’s had three previous 1600m runs and won every one, including the Group 3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) at Belmont over Ranger in the winter.
First-up she beat home Barakey in the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) before her fourth in the Lee Steere last time out that she’ll be out to improve on when stepped up in distance here.
Williams is also represented in the race by Amorino giving him three chances to win, the Snitzel five-year-old having run sixth in both the Prince Of Wales and Lee Steere this prep.
Other notable hopes include Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes winner over 1400m here on November 1 Balmont Girl, last weekend’s RJ Peters Stakes champ Bass Strait on the back-up, the Darren Mcauliffe-trained Group 3 Northerly Stakes winner from October 18 Fuchsia Bandana who comes off a second in the Lee Steere and Kersley’s improving four-year-old Ihtsahymn who was second in the WATC Derby in the autumn.
See below for the full Railway Stakes 2014 field, weights and jockeys – the barrier draw to be conducted live from Ascot from 7am (local time) during Tuesday’s Breakfast with the Stars.
Our preferred online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au are set to release updated Railway Stakes odds shortly so make sure you have an account open and ready to go in time for Super Saturday in Perth!
2014 Railway Stakes Final Field & Weights
Ascot Racecourse – 22/11/2014
|1||THE CLEANER||58||113||STEVEN ARNOLD||MICK BURLES|
|2||MORIARTY (IRE)||57||111||TBA||CHRIS WALLER|
|3||SMOKIN’ JOEY||56||109||BEN MELHAM||WEZ HUNTER|
|4||ALMA’S FURY||55.5||108||MICHAEL RODD||TONY GOLLAN|
|5||MR MOET||55.5||108||PAUL HARVEY||ADAM DURRANT|
|6||IHTSAHYMN||54.5||106||STEVEN PARNHAM||FRED KERSLEY|
|7||ELITE BELLE||53.5||104||WILLIAM PIKE||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|8||AMORINO||53||103||SHAUN MEERES||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|9||BALMONT GIRL||53||91||SHAUN O’DONNELL||PAULA WAGG|
|10||BASS STRAIT (NZ)||53||92||CHRIS PARNHAM||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
|11||CHESTER ROAD||53||102||PETER HALL||ADAM DURRANT|
|12||FANCY FEET||53||90||TBA||SHANE QUILTY|
|13||FUCHSIA BANDANA||53||95||JARRAD NOSKE||DARREN MC AULIFFE|
|14||PLATINUM ROCKER||53||102||PETER KNUCKEY||SIMON A. MILLER|
|15||RANGER||53||96||DOM TOURNEUR||ADAM DURRANT|
|16||RESPONDENT||53||90||BRAD PARNHAM||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|17e||TRADING DAY||53||90||JASON WHITING||WARREN WILSON|
|18e||EXPRESS SERVICE||53||89||TBA||DARREN MC AULIFFE|
|19e||MISS ROSE DE LAGO||53||84||JASON BROWN||SIMON A. MILLER|
|20e||REBELSON||53||88||TBA||DARREN MC AULIFFE|