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Casuarina trainer Lindsey Smith believes his stable ace Scales Of Justice is “coming right” just in time for a successful title defence in Saturday’s 2017 Railway Stakes field.
Twelve months ago the son of Not A Single Doubt made it three Perth Summer Racing Carnival wins at Ascot Racecourse on the trot carrying 53kg to a 2.75 length win in the Group 1 $1 million Railway Stakes (1600m).
The now five-year-old returns on the weekend chasing back-to-back Railway Stakes victories and Douglas Whyte is back aboard for the ride.
Currently Scales Of Justice, who goes up notably in weight this year carrying 57.5kg, is one of three $6.50 equal favourites in Railway Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au along with 59kg top weight Black Heart Bart and the Chris Waller-trained Tom Melbourne drawn the rails.
Last year Scales Of Justice won the Railway Stakes from gate eight and he is drawn barrier 13 this time around, which could become gate 10 if the four emergencies come out.
Smith believes the barrier is a non-issue for his Ascot specialist who boasts an outstanding record at the track (8:4-3-1), but does have concerns about the far from ideal lead-up.
Last season Scales Of Justice won the Group 3 RJ Peters Stakes (1500m) in his final Railway Stakes lead-up.
This time in the horse travelled over to Melbourne for two early spring runs before running third as the beaten odds-on favourite back at home last start.
First-up at Flemington down the famous straight the Perth galloper was runner-up to Group 1 winner Redkirk Warrior in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m).
Things then went amiss when he was galloped on during his midfield seventh to Santa Ana Lane at Caulfield on October 1 in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).
Scales Of Justice was tipped to return to winning form on November 11 in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) back at Ascot, but finished third a quarter-length beaten by the Adam Durrant-trained Silverstream.
Smith knows his $1.4 million earner has come on from that run and is a big hope to turn the tables on the Lee Steere Stakes winner Silverstream who is a $15 chance to score another upset on Saturday after drawing the outside barrier in the Railway Stakes.
“His run the other day wasn’t too bad,” Smith told Racing Victoria.
“He was a little fresh but we’ve been able to have a trial and he’ll be a lot better for that.
“He had couple of hiccups getting home after the Rupert Clarke. He got galloped on and his back leg got infected and he lost a little bit of muscle over his rump but he’s coming right.”
During the horse’s Victorian raid, Smith stabled Scales Of Justice at Warrnambool with Darren Weir.
Weir is over in W.A. with two Railway Stakes horses, the aforementioned five-time Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart and $12 chance Ulmann both residing at Smith’s stables while in Perth.
Smith is happy to return the favour, but also knows that Black Heart Bart is probably the horse to beat even with the big weight on the weekend.
“I haven’t seen him since I left Warrnambool and he looks a lot better than when I last saw him,” he said.
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