The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
He Or She looks set to strike returning to his old hunting ground at Ascot Racecourse in Perth on Saturday getting the firm track co-trainer David Hayes had been hoping for the 2016 Railway Stakes.
Formerly prepared in W.A. by Vaughn Sigley, who retains a part-ownership share in the now Lindsay Park-trained Kendal Star gelding, He Or She returns to Ascot for the first time since January last year.
He has won six from eight plus a third at the track and is out to add to that record on the weekend in the $1 million Group 1 James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m), the race a long-time target set out by Hayes for the horse this campaign.
“He has got a great Ascot record and we planned to get him here with a month break, so he is fresh for this race and the Kingston Town Classic in two weeks’ time,” Hayes, who trains in partnership with his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig, told The Sydney Morning Herald.
The $1 million Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) is a weight-for-age race that closes the elite level racing during the Perth Summer Racing Carnival on December 3.
Suffering an early blow barrier-wise for Saturday He Or She drew gate 15, but could come into 12 if the three Railway Stakes emergencies.
If he does jump from gate 12 he’ll be starting from the race’s most successful barrier from the past 30 years.
Barrier 12 has produced six Railway Stakes winners in the past three decades including four of the past seven champions of the mile clash.
He also boasts a good mile record of three wins and a third from seven starts.
He Or She was last seen running fifth of six runners at the distance at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) and has been freshened-up since.
“We think that he races well off the month break but every time we have tried it, he has ran into a soft track, which he hates,” Hayes said.
“They weren’t absolute shockers because he picked up prize money in Group 1s but he just can’t get a footing.”
Current Railway Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have the former Western Australian galloper at $14 for the win with the race’s dual winning jockey Craig Williams booked for the ride.
Williams rode last year’s Railway Stakes winner Good Project (2015) to victory for Chris Waller as well as the John Thompson-trained Gathering (2010).
He also has plenty of experience aboard He Or She, most recently riding him for his trio of Group 1 placings in Melbourne over the spring.
Before the Crystal Mile the horse ran third in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), second in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) and third to Winx in the Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m).
Boosting his chances on Saturday is the ideal track conditions giving him every chance to improve on the Crystal Mile loss on the Soft-rated Valley course.
“He looks magnificent and if you look at his form he has raced the best horses in the country in the spring and only failed on that wet Valley track,” Hayes, who prepared the 1989 Railway Stakes winner Better Loosen Up, said.
“We came here to get a dry track and that is what it looks like we will get as it dries out. We could not be happier.”
Hayes is blown away by the double-figure price on offer for his horse in Railway Stakes betting, markets led by the local Grant & Alana Williams-trained mare Perfect Reflection ($5.50) and Waller’s Pins four-year-old Mackintosh ($6.50).
“I can’t believe the price he is considering his record at the track and that it is going to be firm, which is what he needs,” Hayes said.
“This is not an afterthought.
“He is still owned in part over here and it was a race we have had marked for a long time because the owners wanted him here.
“He is a proven Group 1 horse and provide they get along he will prove that again.
“He has drawn poorly but he was going to be around midfield anyway and will be coming home.”
To back He Or She in the Railway Stakes 2016 visit Ladbrokes.com.au now!
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