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A capacity Railway Stakes 2017 field has been released by Perth Racing ahead of the opening WA Summer Racing Carnival Group 1 this Saturday at Ascot Racecourse.
The full 16 starters plus four emergencies are in the mix for this year’s Group 1 $1 million James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) including the reigning champion Scales Of Justice.
Lindsey Smith’s Not A Single Doubt gelding won the Railway Stakes carrying just 53kg last season on the back of a Group 3 RJ Peters Stakes (1500m) win.
A dual Group 3 winner at Belmont since following the Railway Stakes success and subsequent Group 1 $1 million Kingston Town Classic (1800m) second, Scales Of Justice is back to defend his title on the weekend.
His lead-up on November 11 produced a shock loss when a narrow third to Silverstream in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m).
Going up to 57.5kg in the Railway Stakes weights this year, Scales Of Justice has a tough test and last year’s winning hoop Douglas Whyte is aboard again for the challenge.
The bookies are taking no chances with Scales Of Justice who leads the updated post-field Railway Stakes odds at $5.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Luckygray won dual editions of the race in 2011 and 2013, but no horses has gone back-to-back in the Railway Stakes since Tudor Mak (1966-67).
Three of the eastern-state visitors occupying the subsequent lines of Railway Stakes betting including the Darren Weir-trained Black Heart Bart ($7) and Supply And Demand ($7) for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott.
Black Heart Bart has Brad Rawiller over for the ride, the jockey aboard the seven-year-old Blackfriars gelding’s five Group 1 victories.
Not having raced since an unplaced run in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on October 1, Black Heart Bart was originally raced in Perth and heads to Ascot for the 21st time on the weekend.
Rawiller knows weight and age work against the $3.7 million earner on the weekend, but remains hopeful Black Heart Bart can be competitive with 59kg against the obvious danger Scales Of Justice.
“Bart’s not getting any younger and probably Scales Of Justice is the horse on the way up but Bart’s a five-time Group 1-winning horse who’ll be ready for the opposition over the weekend,” Rawiller told Racing Victoria on Monday.
Weir has also accepted for Ulmann ($13) to be ridden by Damian Lane.
Supply And Demand meanwhile carries 54.5kg, the ultra-consistent Sebring bay having won four on the trot last time in before back-to-back seconds this prep.
Winner of the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) – Grafton Cup (2350m) double in the winter, Supply And Demand was last seen finishing runner-up at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day in the Group 3 Chatham Stakes (1400m).
He comes down three kilos off that lead-up and will relish getting out over more metres third-up and fit on the weekend tracking towards the Kingston Town Classic in a fortnight.
Sydney’s Chris Waller has accepted for two of his Railway Stakes horses with All Our Roads ($11) and Tom Melbourne ($8).
Both horses are graduates out of the Group 1 Kennedy Mile (1600m) at Flemington on Derby Day, All Our Roads crossing three lengths back fourth and perennial runner-up Tom Melbourne finishing second to winning stablemate Shillelagh.
Dual Railway Stakes winning hoop Craig Williams rides All Our Roads on the weekend chasing a third win in the mile classic to add to those won aboard Gathering (2010) and Waller’s previous champion Good Project (2015).
Tom Melbourne carries 55kg on Saturday with Damien Oliver booked for the ride and looking for his first win since taking it out on Island Morn back in 1994.
Five of the past six runs by Dylan Thomas seven-year-old Tom Melbourne have produced second place efforts, the consistent Group 1 performing miler winless since March of 2016.
2017 Railway Stakes Final Field
Ascot Racecourse – 25/11/2017
|1||BLACK HEART BART||59||114||RAD RAWILLER||DARREN WEIR|
|2||SCALES OF JUSTICE||57.5||111||DOUGLAS WHYTE||LINDSEY SMITH|
|3||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||55||106||DAMIEN OLIVER||CHRIS WALLER|
|4||SUPPLY AND DEMAND||54.5||105||TBA||GAI WATERHOUSE & ADRIAN BOTT|
|5||ULMANN||54.5||105||DAMIAN LANE||DARREN WEIR|
|6||GREAT SHOT||53.5||103||CRAIG STAPLES||RHYS RADFORD|
|8||ALL OUR ROADS (NZ)||53||98||CRAIG WILLIAMS||CHRIS WALLER|
|9||COSMIC STORM||53||93||TBA||GRANT & ALANA WILLIAMS|
|11||GATTING||53||94||TBA||DARREN MC AULIFFE|
|12||MATERIAL MAN||53||96||LUCY WARWICK||JUSTIN WARWICK|
|13||OBSERVATIONAL (GB)||53||100||JOSEPH AZZOPARDI||JOHN SADLER|
|14||POUNAMU||53||96||PATRICK CARBERY||ALAN MATHEWS|
|15||SOVEREIGN NATION||53||100||CHRIS PARNHAM||D & B HAYES & T DABERNIG|
|16||VARIATION||53||91||BRAD PARNHAM||STEPHEN MILLER|
|17e||TRADESMAN||53||93||TBA||ROBERT & TODD HARVEY|
|18e||ROYAL STAR||53||83||TBA||GRANT & ALANA WILLIAMS|
|19e||BOLLYWOOD BLITZ||53||87||TBA||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
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