The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Young local Ascot horseman Rhys Radford chases an upset Railway Stakes 2017 result at home on the weekend when saddling-up outsider Great Shot in the million dollar summer racing feature.
Currently Perth star and reigning champion Scales Of Justice is the $6.50 equal favourite in markets at Ladbrokes.com.au with interstate raiders Black Heart Bart from Victoria and Sydney’s Tom Melbourne for Saturday’s Group 1 $1 million Railway Stakes (1600m).
Another W.A. runner in the mix but at longer Railway Stakes odds of $26 is Radford’s Magnus five-year-old Great Shot.
The gelding is in flying form this time in coming off three top three runs.
Back on October 21 Great Shot was narrow runner-up at $18 odds behind Silverstream in the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m) at Ascot, before finishing under a length back third to Material Man in the Listed Northam Cup (1600m).
His final lead-up was back at Ascot on November 11 when under a quarter-length off Silverstream again in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m).
That could prove the form line to follow into the Group 1 rematch on the weekend as Lindsey Smith’s reigning Railway Stakes champ Scales Of Justice is also a Lee Steere Stakes graduate.
In his first run back home after a luckless Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) run in Caulfield, Not A Single Doubt five-year-old Scales Of Justice ran a close third as the beaten Lee Steere Stakes favourite.
His short quote in Railway Stakes betting suggests that his last start conqueror Silverstream, with work to do from the outside alley, along with Great Shot in barrier 11 can be competitive at longer odds.
Perth’s leading hoop William Pike, winning rider aboard Elite Belle in the 2014 Railway Stakes, partners the Adam Durrant-trained Silverstream.
The six-year-old mare chases her third win on the trot, but is only rated a $15 chance having drawn the outside alley.
She will jump from 16 of 16 on Saturday chasing her first mile success and is out to be the first from the extreme outside to salute since M’Lady’s Jewel (1991).
Great Shot meanwhile is proven over a mile having won two of his three previous 1600m assignments and has Craig Staples retaining the ride on Saturday.
“We’re happy with the horse,” Radford, 26, told the media on Tuesday pre-barriers.
“He doesn’t travel too bad. He doesn’t like the sit, he likes to get out and roll but we’ll have to just play it by ear. Craig seems to save his best rides for Great Shot.
“He [Staples] has been the number one man to get the owner in the camp and he has done a big job with the horse. Full credit goes to him.”
Great Shot’s barrier 11 draw could become eight at best if the four emergencies fail to gain a run, that barrier producing Scales Of Justice for his win in 2016.
Radford is looking forward to the rematch with Scales Of Justice, but still rates the class galloper a huge danger to his runner.
“Scales Of Justice, he probably had a couple of excuses the other day and Lindsey knows what he is doing and he had him cherry-ripe last year and I can’t see that being any different,” Radford said.
“You can’t dismiss the cerise and white [Bob Peters team] either so all round, it should be a really good race on Saturday.”
Check out the latest Railway Stakes 2017 betting odds and options online now through Ladbrokes.com.au.
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