The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Black Heart Bart looked back to his best form but still had to settle for second behind surprise locally-trained winner Great Shot in last Saturday’s Railway Stakes 2017 results in Perth.
The opening elite level of the W.A. Summer Racing Carnival took place over the weekend and all honours went to the Rhys Radford-trained local hope Great Shot who saluted at a blowout price of $31 in the Group 1 $1 million Railway Stakes (1600m).
In a devastatingly close second after a thrilling late finish was the Darren Weir-trained Perth expat and five-time Group 1 champion Black Heart Bart ($8), while Chris Waller’s perennial placegetter Tom Melbourne ran a typically brave third only a quarter length off the winner to round out the Railway Stakes trifecta as the beaten $5 favourite.
It was a brilliant Railway Stakes result for 26-year-old Radford, the young horseman celebrating the fairy tale victory of his always-honest Mangus five-year-old.
“I thought he’d run a great race. I couldn’t get him any better, so we were just hoping his best was good enough,” Radford told The West Australian post-win on Saturday.
“I’ve never had a horse try as hard as he does. It’s really a credit to him, he never gives it away.
“I couldn’t be happier. Give it a day or two to sink in.”
Great Shot came off a trio of lead-up placings against a number of the same rivals he faced in the mile classic on Saturday, including the close second in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) on November 11.
Relishing coming back from 59kg that run at WFA to just 53.5kg on the weekend, Great Shot and regular rider Craig Staples held off some of Australian racing’s biggest names to become the longest priced Railway Stakes winner since Sanatate (33/1 in 1983).
Further emphasising the tough nature of Great Shot is the fact the horse was diagnosed with a spinal conditions called kissing spines back in June, which threatened to bring his racing career to an end.
Staples had Great Shot up on the pace and leading early after holding out the defending Railway Stakes winner Scales Of Justice, who eventually faded out to run 4.5 lengths back 12th, for the lead.
With 200m left to trouble it looked like the pacemaker would be run down, but in a gallant effort Great Shot had enough left in the tank to hold out Black Heart Bart, who had raced three-wide with cover for most the race, by a half-head margin.
“He hasn’t been sound for a long time but he was pretty sound today,” Staples said on Saturday.
“I knew I was going all right [at the 200m]. I knew he had a lot of kick in him because he loves it when they come at him.
“I didn’t think I’d get another chance to win a Group 1.”
Despite the brave Railway Stakes victory, Great Shot remains a $26 outsider to back-up and race again on December 9 in the Group 1 $1 million Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
See below for the full Railway Stakes 2017 results before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au for access to the best Perth racing odds on the upcoming Group 1 summer races.
2017 Railway Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Ascot Racecourse – 25/11/2017
|1||6||GREAT SHOT||Rhys Radford||Craig Staples||–||8||53.5kg||$31|
|2||1||BLACK HEART BART||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||0.15L||6||59kg||$8|
|3||3||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||0.35L||1||55kg||$5F|
|4||16||VARIATION||Stephen Miller||Brad Parnham||0.75L||3||53kg||$8.50|
|5||12||MATERIAL MAN||Justin Warwick||Ms Lucy Warwick||0.75L||9||53kg||$16|
|6||14||POUNAMU||Alan Mathews||Patrick Carbery||1.75L||11||53kg||$26|
|7||11||GATTING||Darren Mcauliffe||Lee Newman||2L||2||53kg (cd 54kg)||$26|
|8||5||ULMANN||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||2.25L||4||54.5kg||$13|
|9||8||ALL OUR ROADS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||2.5L||14||53kg||$16|
|10||9||COSMIC STORM||Grant & Alana Williams||Jarrad Noske||2.75L||13||53kg||$51|
|11||15||SOVEREIGN NATION||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Chris Parnham||3.25L||12||53kg||$21|
|12||2||SCALES OF JUSTICE||Lindsey Smith||Douglas Whyte||4.5L||10||57.5kg||$10|
|13||7||SILVERSTREAM||Adam Durrant||William Pike||4.75L||16||53.5kg||$19|
|14||10||DISPOSITION||Adam Durrant||Shaun Mc Gruddy||6L||7||53kg||$61|
|15||13||OBSERVATIONAL (GB)||John Sadler||Joseph Azzopardi||14.25L||5||53kg||$51|
|16||4||SUPPLY AND DEMAND||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Joshua Parr||49.75L||15||54.5kg||$8|
|–||19e||BOLLYWOOD BLITZ||Neville Parnham||–||–||2||–||–|
|–||17e||TRADESMAN||Robert & Todd Harvey||–||–||9||–||–|
|–||18e||ROYAL STAR||Grant & Alana Williams||–||–||17||–||–|
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