Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Chris Waller’s perennial runner-up Tom Melbourne has come up trumps with the inside barrier in Saturday’s Railway Stakes 2017 field in Perth and has firmed into equal favouritism for the million dollar feature.
A capacity final field of end-of-year milers will face off in the opening elite level of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival when the Group 1 $1 million James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) steals the show in W.A.
The official Railway Stakes barrier draw took place late on Tuesday afternoon and the Waller-trained duo of Tom Melbourne and All Our Roads had mixed luck drawing gates one and 18 respectively.
Four of the past five starts this time in for Waller’s imported Dylan Thomas seven-year-old Tom Melbourne have produced second place finishes.
That included the half-length loss to Happy Clapper at Randwick in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) in late September and a last start second behind stablemate Shillelagh at Flemington in the Group 1 Kennedy Mile (1600m) on November 4.
Tom Melbourne gets the chance to finally breakthrough with a win on the weekend in the Railway Stakes with Damien Oliver booked for the ride from the inside alley, which last produced a winner with Old Fashion (2002).
The barrier draw results saw the OTI Racing-owned Tom Melbourne firm into $6.50 in the latest Railway Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, equal with fellow favourites Black Heart Bart and Scales Of Justice.
Terry Henderson from OTI suggested Tom Melbourne will likely lead the Railway Stakes field on Saturday from the gate and believes fitness will work in the galloper’s favour.
“He can be a puller, but can also come out of the gates well and he might even lead,” Henderson told Racing Victoria on Wednesday.
“Over the mile, he’s so fit he should be able to do that.
“You wouldn’t give up the barrier because he could be two back on the fence and pulling his head off.”
As for All Our Roads, the Road To Rock six-year-old has eased out to $14 with the wide gate that could become 14 if the four emergencies fail to gain a start: Tradesman (9), Royal Star (17), Bollywood Blitz (2) and Tonkatuff (7).
All Our Roads has jockey Craig Williams aboard after his third Railway Stakes winning ride following success son the John Thompson-trained Gathering (2010) and Waller’s 2015 champion Good Project.
Like his better fancied stablemate Tom Melbourne, the gelding is a Kennedy Mile graduate having run three lengths back fourth.
The Darren Weir-trained top weight Black Heart Bart (59kg) draw barrier eight and could come into six with the emergencies out, while the reigning Railway Stakes winner Scales Of Justice (57.5kg) is drawn barrier 13 (possibly into 10).
The hefty kilos work against five-time Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart on the weekend, but jockey Brad Rawiller remains confident the former Perth galloper can still be a danger chasing his first victory since February.
Lindsey Smith’s local hope Scales Of Justice won the race by nearly three lengths last year from gate eight with 53kg.
The now five-year-old son of Not A Single Doubt goes up 4.5kg this year from the wider alley, but four of the five Railway Stakes winners before him saluted from a double-digit gate.
Check out the official Railway Stakes 2017 field and barriers below before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au for updated odds on the classic.
2017 Railway Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Ascot Racecourse – 25/11/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight|
|1||11x75x3235||BLACK HEART BART||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||8||59kg|
|2||12x211x273||SCALES OF JUSTICE||Lindsey Smith||Douglas Whyte||13||57.5kg|
|3||905×222262||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||1||55kg|
|4||3521111×22||SUPPLY AND DEMAND||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Joshua Parr||19||54.5kg|
|5||36x130x614||ULMANN||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||5||54.5kg|
|6||22186×5232||GREAT SHOT||Rhys Radford||Craig Staples||11||53.5kg|
|7||090122×211||SILVERSTREAM||Adam Durrant||William Pike||20||53.5kg|
|8||226216×354||ALL OUR ROADS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||18||53kg|
|9||13x1511x46||COSMIC STORM||Grant & Alana Williams||Jarrad Noske||16||53kg|
|10||0x5358x185||DISPOSITION||Adam Durrant||Shaun Mc Gruddy||10||53kg|
|11||x82413x651||GATTING||Darren Mcauliffe||Lee Newman||3||53kg|
|12||2x31114x14||MATERIAL MAN||Justin Warwick||Lucy Warwick||12||53kg|
|13||00x71120x8||OBSERVATIONAL (GB)||John Sadler||Joseph Azzopardi||6||53kg|
|14||111x4963x1||POUNAMU||Alan Mathews||Patrick Carbery||14||53kg|
|15||76×1531427||SOVEREIGN NATION||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Chris Parnham||15||53kg|
|16||211511×323||VARIATION||Stephen Miller||Brad Parnham||4||53kg|
|17e||35753x0x37||TRADESMAN||Robert & Todd Harvey||TBA||9||53kg|
|18e||11612×152||ROYAL STAR||Grant & Alana Williams||TBA||17||53kg|
|19e||171×111895||BOLLYWOOD BLITZ||Neville Parnham||TBA||2||53kg|
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