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The field is out for the summer’s opening Group 1 race in Perth with Makybe Diva Stakes champ Gatting heading the Railway Stakes 2019 weights this weekend in WA.
The Ascot Summer Racing Carnival gets into full swing on Saturday with a bumper day’s racing headlined by the Group 1 $1 million Railway Stakes (1600m) sponsored this year by Kirin.
Looking to go one better than his second to Galaxy Star in the handicap feature last year, the Darren McAuliffe-trained Gatting returns and carries the 58kg topweight.
The Hard Spun six-year-old – who also finished seventh in the 2017 Railway Stakes – enjoyed a career highlight first-up back in mid-September when defeating Mystic Journey as a 100/1 roughie at Flemington in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
His subsequent two Melbourne runs saw him unplaced before he returned to Perth on November 9 to cross a half-length second behind Star Exhibit in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) carrying 59kg.
That weight-for-age race looks the form line to follow into the Railway Stakes field on the weekend with Gatting currently at $12 through Ladbrokes.com.au to return to winning form over the mile.
Leading the all-in Railway Stakes odds on the final field of 16 is the Gatting’s stablemate The Velvet King who ran third in the Lee Steere.
An ultra-consistent Universal Ruler four-year-old, The Velvet King has been in excellent form this preparation including a Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m) win at the Ascot track on October 19.
He also carried 59kg in the weight-for-age Lee Steere a fortnight back and gets the big weight advantage in the Group 1 on Saturday dropping right back to 53kg.
The Adam Durrant-trained Star Exhibit meanwhile is quoted at Railway Stakes odds of $14 to complete the Lee Steere – Railway Stakes double for the first time since Belle Bizarre (2006).
An eight-year-old veteran, Star Exhibit was a roughie winning the 1400m event last time out despite his obvious class having won the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) over the mile and a half back in January.
He ran seventh in last year’s Railway Stakes results but looks in much better form despite his age this summer racing season.
Best Of Days for Godolphin coming off a credible fifth behind Fierce Impact on Derby Day in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) follows Gatting in the weights with 57kg and will be ridden by Brad Rawiller.
The aforementioned Star Exhibit (56.5kg) with Peter Hall aboard along with Damien Oliver’s mount Achernar Star (55.5kg) who ran fourth in the Lee Steere are the other horses carrying more than the 53kg minimum.
Other standout hopefuls in the Railway Stakes field for 2019 are the flying Grant & Alana Williams-trained Northam Cup winner Tellem We’re Comin, his WATC Derby winning stablemate Regal Power who William Pike has opted to ride and Chris Gangemi’s in-form four-year-old Samizdat coming off an Asian Beau Stakes win from November 2.
The official Railway Stakes barrier draw will take place on Tuesday night.
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2019 Railway Stakes Final Field
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x512251502||GATTING||Darren Mcauliffef||Mitchell Pateman||0||58kg||112|
|2||x5Nx738035||BEST OF DAYS (GB)||James Cummings||Brad Rawiller||0||57kg||110|
|3||77051145×1||STAR EXHIBIT||Adam Durrant||Peter Hall||0||56.5kg||109|
|4||09x211x524||ACHERNAR STAR||Simon A Miller||Damien Oliver||0||55.5kg||107|
|5||1653138×71||REYKJAVIK||Lindsey Smith||Dean Yendall||0||53kg||102|
|6||x21412x213||THE VELVET KING||Darren Mcauliffe||Chris Parnham||0||53kg||102|
|7||13x723x411||TELLEM WE’RE COMIN||Grant & Alana Williams||Brenton Avdulla||0||53kg||99|
|8||34x523x272||VARIATION||Stephen Miller||Brad Parnham||0||53kg||99|
|9||4187445×55||MIZLECKI||Fred Kersley||Jerry Noske||0||53kg||94|
|10||x684830x93||PERFECT JEWEL||Adam Durrant||Ms Jade McNaught (a)||0||53kg||92|
|11||72240×9245||MANOLO BLAHNIQ (NZ)||Tony Noonan||Joseph Azzopardi||0||53kg||95|
|12||32321211×2||REGAL POWER||Grant & Alana Williams||William Pike||0||53kg||94|
|13||x13x11x651||SAMIZDAT||Chris Gangemi||Jarrad Noske||0||53kg||91|
|14||x71422x121||COCKNEY CREW||Kieran McDonagh||Troy Turner||0||53kg||87|
|15||x05138x112||PLATOON||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||0||53kg||82|
|16||22111×5453||TAMASA||Lindsey Smith||Peter Knuckey||0||53kg||82|
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