The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Karnup horseman Adam Durrant is leaning towards Silverstream as his best Railway Stakes 2017 hope with the step-up to a mile to suit the in-form mare.
Durrant saddles-up two Bob Peters-raced chances with Al Maher six-year-old Silverstream and Reset gelding Disposition representing the leading Perth owner in Saturday’s Group 1 $1 million Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot Racecourse.
Durrant won the race back in 2012 with Mr Moet, a 20/1 outsider in Railway Stakes betting.
This year Silverstream is rated a $16 chance and stablemate Disposition a $61 roughie in the latest Railway Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The bookies have it right according to Durrant who is confident Silverstream can challenge the better fancied in the race despite having drawn the outside alley.
“I’ve got to lean toward the mare in Silverstream,” Durrant told RSN this week.
“The barrier draw doesn’t help but she’s going to get a good look at them and get clear running and she’s a building type of horse rather than ride her like you’re not trying and dash up the last 300 [metres].
“She’s one that can get into the moving line from the half-mile and, providing she’s on the back of something she can track, she can be strong at the finish.”
Since 2005 three mares have saluted in the Railway Stakes results, most recently Elite Belle (2014) ridden to victory by William Pike.
Pike opted to partner Silverstream in the race this Perth Summer Racing Carnival, despite the mare’s nasty alley that will be 16 of 16 on race day.
“It depends on how the track is playing on the day,” Durrant said speaking race tactics for Saturday.
“Ascot can be a bit of a dog track at times with on-pace bias but the track has been really good this season.
“We’re hopeful and we’ve got the right man on top to do the job.”
In the past 30 years three Railway Stakes winners saluted from the outside barrier 16 draw, but none since M’Lady’s Jewel in 1991.
Silverstream certainly has the right lead-up form into the Group 1 mile test having run top two in her six starts going back to December last year.
She comes off back-to-back wins at the Ascot track having won the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m) on October 21 before the upset victory in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) where the reigning Railway Stakes winner Scales Of Justice ran third as the beaten favourite.
“I think the best part of how she has been winning is how strong she has been closing off at the finish,” Durrant said.
“The mile is going to be really to her liking.”
In the rematch this weekend Scales Of Justice carries 57.5kg for his Railway Stakes title defence, while Silverstream is in on a nice 53.5kg light weight.
Lindsey Smith’s reigning champ is at $6.50 to salute again, equal with Black Heart Bart for Darren Weir and second in betting only to the Chris Waller-trained Tom Melbourne ($6) who is tipped to shake his second placegetter status from barrier one with Damien Oliver over for the ride.
Check out the full Railway Stakes odds for 2017 online now through Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the weekend’s sole Group 1 race down under.
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