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Full Railway Stakes Day Preview news

Full Railway Stakes Day Preview

Terry Leighton | Metropolitan Racing | Fri 23 November, 2018

While it’s now known as the ‘masters series’, Railway Stakes day will always be Super Saturday to me. The day which makes a grown man feel like a twelve year old kid at Christmas again, but instead of unwrapping that new bike or video game we find a plethora of win and place tickets, quadrellas and false hope through long term all-in bets. It’s just a shame that Renae Lawrence return to Australia has taken some of the gloss off the day.

The rail is at the true position and while everybody pre-meet wants to suggest there will be a bias of some sort, they really are talking absolute smack as they wouldn’t have a clue. The Ascot track this season has played as well as I can ever remember it playing. 23 degrees, slightly overcast and a fair track. Perfect racing conditions.

I’ll take a look at the speed map in each race before looking at the key players. All suggested bets are to a maximum of 100 units when deciphering confidence.


Race 1 - Durrant’s Miracle

Speed Map - Blackline (barrier 6), Salorsci (3), Red Paddy (2) and Miracle Man (8) are the four runners engaged who will be looking for a spot in the first few in running. Salorsci and Red Paddy’s recent barrier manners suggest this may wishful thinking however. Blackline should be able to lead them up with Miracle Man either working across to his outside or even pushing on to take up the running.

Like A Butterfly (1) should be able to hold the back of the leader from the inside alley, with Astronomite (4) handy. Jeraft (9) is awkwardly drawn and Steve Parnham will need to either make the early decision to pop forward and look for a spot, or restrain and have the final crack at them. Jeraft’s winning run ends here. Reveille has horrible barrier manners, but the top end speed shouldn’t be too hectic.

Race Overview - Happy narrowing the opening event down to three winning chances; Like A Butterfly, Miracle Man and Reveille. The current market of $4, $4.20 & $3.70 respectively seems to agree with me.

Miracle Man’s run in last weeks RJ Peters Stakes has not got the credit it probably deserved. The more I watch it, the more it becomes apparent he was a good thing beaten. With Wrinkly engaged in that race all runners were off the bit on straightening (including winner Freo, runner up Cappo D’Oro and Railway Stakes runner Action) except for him. To quote the main man, Peter Knuckey was sitting quiet as a church mouse. Unfortunately the run never came and he went hard held to the line. Has had success ridden forward in the past and I have absolutely no doubt they will be the tactics employed here in a race devoid of speed. It would appear Pike has had the choice between the two Durrant runners and gone this way.

Reveille’s last two efforts have been outstanding. After her last effort, I thought she would be near unbeatable in whatever event she contested next and a lot of things do look in her favour here. Will be running the slickest final splits and it’s only a matter of how well Miracle Man is rated out in front and what type of margin she has to bridge.

Like A Butterfly ran a bold second to Jeraft in the York Cup, though that race did lack a great deal of depth. It is hard to put races at tracks like York and Narrogin into context as they are very ‘specialist’ tracks. Have it just behind the Durrant pair and I’d be surprised if these three don’t go very close to filling the trifecta.

Undecided which way to lean in this event. Miracle Man will look the winner at the 150m mark with Like A Butterfly then Reveille having the two final cracks. The current market is basically spot on and we’ll wait for the second to suggest our first bet of an action packed card.


Miracle Man
Like A Butterfly

Suggested Bet: No bet.


Race 2 - Rail And Run

Speed Map - A race which should be decided by the fairly straight forward looking speed map. The Nicconian railed and ran last time out and was never in serious doubt of being caught. From barrier 4 with very little top end speed engaged, Steven Parnham should be able to do the exact same here. Happy Harry (barrier 7) and Minus Looks (10) look the obvious two to come across and put some pressure on, but neither have the early speed of The Nicconian.

Stageman (11) continues to run huge sectionals but continues to find himself in unwinnable positions. This race looks easier than the one he contested against Misty Metal and another horse I do not want to mention. Drawing poorly again, I suspect Pike will be looking to ride him forward of midfield and try and find some cover. The winkers have gone on in an attempt to sharpen him up early.

Chesten Flyer (1) should be able to hold a spot in the first five, probably even on The Nicconian’s back and is mapped to settle close, along with Resistance (6). It’s a question of class for those two.

The other sharp sit and sprinters in Kokopu (9), Candlelight Star (8) and Pretentious Chant (5) are likely to be a fair way back and you’d be backing Stageman in, if it came down to a sit and sprint affair against that lot.

Race Overview - I’m taking the major form line for this event through The Nicconian’s recent clash with Stageman on 27/10/18. Stageman was the beneficiary of a reasonable barrier draw on that occasion, while The Nicconian was forced to work outside the leader, Recoiled and was then further challenged by Akiko three deep. Those two were the first two beaten on straightening, while The Nicconian fought hard to the line - it was the only horse who raced on speed to be in the finish.

The Nicconian should quite comfortably lead them up here and while this appears a step up in grade, it’s prior effort to Stageman’s was superior. He looks a very obvious each way selection at around the $6 mark.

Stageman was marked as a potential Winterbottom horse and for that reason, those who want to be on this son of Written Tycoon will have to continue to take unders. Beaten as a $1.35, $1.75 & $1.65 favourite in three of his last four starts, he is probably a length or two off what we thought he was. This is still very winnable for him with a pearler from Pike.

Minus Looks is an extremely consistent galloper for the Steve Wolfe yard and if finding the outside of The Nicconian without too much stress, can go close. Candlelight Star and Pretentious Chant will both flood home, but can they catch lightly weighted front runner?


The Nicconian
Minus Looks
Candlelight Star

Suggested Bet: 50 wins and 50 places The Nicconian. Looks a mapped certainty to be going very close. $6 is an acceptable quote.


Race 3 - The Right Lane

Speed Map - Another race devoid of a huge amount of top end speed, should allow Peter Hall to take up the running with My Greek Boy (barrier 10). Had a lot of success in that role last campaign and it will be interesting to see if they look to adopt those freewheeling tactics again. In Love With Paris (5) and Oliver’s Travels (1) should utilise their gates and gate speed to be parked right on top of the pace, while it is not inconceivable that William Pike looks to roll forward on the somewhat flat State Solicitor (8).

Pinzu (3) and Red Ora (4) get nice runs in the first 6 from their good alleys, while Freo (9) will settle last and look to make a pre-bend sweeping move into the race. He’s fit.

Race Overview - I started having minor convulsions when $18 became available for Pinzu. The creators of this early market completely shat the bed with their summation of the race and I dare say the $2.70 you currently see about State Solicitor will be closer to $7 by jump. While I am not saying he can’t win this event (he can’t), it’s just the wrong price. If you are that way inclined, show some patience and bet late.

Happy narrowing this race again down to three key players in Freo, Pinzu and In Love With Paris.

Freo clearly hasn’t got the anchor out at the moment and there is no logical reason he can’t win again. Has drawn awkwardly, but is a natural get back runner and I suspect we will see Dan Staeck looking to make his move from about the 600m mark. While his group 3 three victory a week ago was full of merit, he was afforded arguably the ride of the day by Shooter McGruddy, taking the shortest way home. Hasn’t been missed by the handicapper, though under the conditions of this event he isn’t that badly in.

In Love With Paris was somewhat disappointing against The Nicconian second up. Jarrad Noske came across from the wide gate to find the death with a degree of ease, but he was no match for the eventual winner. That horse may well be flying. The weight drop and likely sit are in his favour here, as is the step up to 1400m. Has a second to Enticing Star on his CV.

Very happy having Pinzu on top here. Has never won first up, though has four second placings from five first up runs. While we hate to see the bar shoes going on, we do love to see them coming off (especially first up) and that is exactly what happens all round here. Dare say Pike would be on if State Solicitor wasn’t in the event, but Damian Lane is a more than adequate replacement. Has NEVER had two consecutive trials before a prep, so I would say that this is the race they are aiming him at. When the party boy takes aim, he tends to hit.

While Red Ora, State Solicitor and Heart Starter are all quality animals, we just haven’t seen enough of that quality lately to consider them as betting propositions.


In Love With Paris
My Greek Boy

Suggested Bet: 50 wins and 50 places Pinzu. $10 is still available around the traps - this is a more than an acceptable quote.


Race 4 - Allen’s Ark

Speed Map - Chris Parnham found the winning formula for Lord Greystoke (barrier 2) in a trial on the 29th of October and repeated that jump and run methodology first up, with a strong all the way victory. Was $6 out to as much as $50 on the exchange that day. Fire And Rain (7) is super quick and would ideally love to cross Lord Greystoke, but Steve Parnham will have no intentions of handing up. Could be difficult for Fire And Rain (7) to face the breeze and win in a race filled with so many sharp finishers.

Dance Music (3) leaps off the page as the mapped winner. Should stalk the speed and I am sure William Pike would have retained the ride had there been no cerise and white runners engaged. Shapita (4) is another drawn to get the perfect cart up while Pablo’s Poem (8) is drawn trickily and could even lead up a three wide line. Cup Night (11) would love to have Pablo’s back, but is likely to be well back with Festival Miss (6).

Race Overview - As per the norm, the Placid Ark brings together a brilliant bunch of juvenile sprinters. I do think there is a major class differential between the Dance Music and Lord Greystoke form lines and for that reason I am happy putting a line through Lord Greystoke and Festival Miss.

Fire And Rain was a recent winner of a very sharp 850m trial where he appeared to have plenty left in the tank. This colt by Oratorio will be desperate to add black type to his CV and you know he will be in front with 100m to go.

Dance Music was nothing short of sensational first up when parking three deep the trip on a hot speed and still ran sharp final sectionals. Should get it softer here and the only danger from a speed map point of view is that he may drop to the rail behind Lord Greystoke, who I expect to be stopping earlier than Fire And Rain. If there is a three wide line lead up by Pablo’s Poem it could be a very sticky spot to be for the ex Dockers coach Benny Allen.

There is very little between Pablo’s Poem and Cup Night. The market discrepancy between Pablo’s Poem at $4 and Cup Night at $17 looks overstated. Cup Night WILL run the sharpest final 200m split, making the $4 a drum enticing. I would presume Patrick Carbery had the choice of these two runners and opted for Cup Night.

A watch on Regal Power who has had absolutely no luck this campaign. Could be the bolter at any old price.

If you get anywhere near $3 for Dance Music she looks a bet, otherwise we’ll look to have something on the Cup Night for the place.


Dance Music
Cup Night
Fire And Rain
Pablo’s Poem

Suggested Bet: 60 places Cup Night. $4 looks a nice quote.


Race 5 - 2013 Form

Speed Map - A race really lacking notable top end speed. Salon Du Cheval (3) is a tough staying type and is the most likely runner to surge forward and take up the running. Royal Star (7) has had success racing forward in the past and could look to find a spot in the first few, while the likes of Prize Catch (4), Ihtsahymn (2) and Mississippi Delta (6) will want to utilise their good draws and be right over a potentially slack tempo.

Dark Musket (10), Elegant Blast (9) and First Affair (11) are all drawn to be ridden cold. Elegant Blast is the only one of this trio who may look to show some aggression early and find a spot closer to the speed.

A very tricky speed map, in a race we may see a mid race move or two.

Race Overview - This isn’t an event I can get overly enthusiastic about and making the distinction between the up and coming stayers such as Mississippi Delta and Salon Du Cheval and the more seasoned types in Ihtsahymn and Dark Musket is no easy feat.

I am going to look a little bit further afield (and surprise myself) and put Ihtsahymn on top. The addition of blinkers is a really interesting one. The last time he wore blinkers in Perth (I haven’t got his Melbourne records) was the 2015 Perth Cup. Before that, they were glued to his head when he utilised this exact draw with the shades on to win the 2013 Kingston Town and Cox Stakes. Yes, I just referred to a race from 2013. Perhaps not the most apt form reference.

In more recent times his record over the staying journey (2000m+) has been more than adequate. At his last 8 attempts at 2000m+, he has only been unplaced twice, with one being a Perth Cup and the other a WFA event won by Scales Of Justice. He ran third in this race last year, being beaten by Trap For Fools who he gave 4kg’s away too. That form looks OK now. From barrier two, Steve Parnham should have him on the back of the speed and look to bring back that winning formula from 2013, when he would pull out at the 500m and grind the rest of the field into the ground. Is getting on now, so likely to find one of the younger brigade a bit sharper over the final stages, but at $5+ a place he is an easy decision here. Blue Tracer is $16, Ihtsahymn is $19. That can’t be right.

Mississippi Delta was beaten by Queen Bey last time out after getting the run of the race. While she will derive fitness from her first staying test this campaign, that is concerning form coming into a feature. With the 54kg’s I suspect we’ll see a more patient ride from Pike and she will have a stronger sprint over the final 200m.

Dark Musket would have been a winning prospect had he drawn an alley, while Elegant Blast is racing in terrific fashion. I just feel both of those runners have been ‘gated’ out of it.

A place heavy bet on Ihtsahymn is the way we’ll go.


Mississippi Delta
Dark Musket
Salon Du Cheval

Suggested Bet: 15 wins and 45 places Ihtsahymn. She’s currently around the $20 and $5 mark, an older horse is unlikely to have a huge amount of interest come on the day, so you could even shop better closer to jump.


Race 6 - Misty’s Metal

Speed Map - Misty Metal (barrier 12) has drawn a horror alley for her ‘grand final’, but upon further investigation, she may have fallen into a rare sprinting trip without a huge amount of top end speed. There is every chance she can come across from the alley and even find the fence with Super Stardom (5) the roughie who will have the biggest say in this. That Neville Parnham trained galloper hasn’t been beginning all that well this campaign so Shooter will be confident he can cross and lead. Caipirinha (13) is another who on the surface looks to have drawn poorly, but the tactic will no doubt be to come across with Misty Metal and race on her flanks.

How To Fly (3) is the best drawn mare, for her racing style in this event. Racing without luck since a soft victory four starts ago, Peter Hall should be able to find the fence and take Misty Metal’s back. The two horses drawn inside her are both notoriously slow beginners. Pearls And Prawns (11) will look to find a spot near the speed and may look to come across with the two speedsters from her outside. Seannie (2) and Sally’s Realm (4) will likely drift back underneath runners with Celebrity Dream (10) and Showcase (8) the two likely to have the final crack.

Race Overview - Really looking forward to this edition of The Jungle Mist Classic. Misty Metal really came on as a galloper last campaign when she strung five consecutive victories together. Kate Witten has done a great job with her, but having the stronger senior jockey back on board is a huge positive. Despite there not appearing to be a huge amount of speed drawn underneath her, you still need to step away cleanly over the sprint journey, especially from a wide draw. There are some seriously talented sit and sprinters engaged here who will be finishing over the top of her if she is not powerful to the line.

Celebrity Dream is the best horse in this field. Completed a clean sweep of the fillies and mares features last year in dominant fashion. Arguably should have beaten Dainty Tess first up at WFA and Bob was seriously considering a Winterbottom tilt if she was successful in the Prince Of Wales. I don’t think last years fillies and mares series presented quite as much depth as this, so the wizard will need to be at his absolute best, though she is flying.

Speaking of flying, How To Fly is not the most credentialled of the runners in this event, but he is the one drawn to win. I’ve been set on Misty Metal for the last 24 hours but I really can make a strong case for this Written Tycoon mare, based on the likely speed map. I’m not convinced Caipirinha is going all that well and that Misty Metal should be able to give a big kick on straightening. This should open up the run just off her back for How To Fly. With this type of run, she has proved to be very difficult to beat. We’ll stick with Misty, but I’d be finding a spot in your quaddie for How To Fly at $20+.

Pearls And Prawns is a really interesting watch here, but it’s hard to get excited about the $3.50 on offer from the sticky gate. Only just got past Distant Trilogy last start who failed to frank that form. Might be one to wait for the Jungle Dawn for.

If Misty Metal does not cross and find the fence as hoped, then you can just about give the race to Celebrity Dream. So many different scenarios which could play out.


Misty Metal
Celebrity Dream
How To Fly
Pearls And Prawns

Suggested Bet: 35 wins and 35 places Misty Metal. The $7 quote looks about right from the alley.


Race 7 - WA Guineas

Monster edition of the 2018 WA Guineas, with thirteen blokes to do battle against the three quality girls backing up from the Champion Fillies seven days ago. Chris Waller, Darren Weir and Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, add that little bit of extra intrigue to WA’s premier three year old mile.

For the two feature races we’ll take a more indepth look at a speed map, each runners individual form as well as the current price and a ‘when to shop’ suggestion. For those who don’t want to read five pages of dribble, there is a race summary and suggested bet (max 100 unit stake).

My Eastern States knowledge is limited at best, so we have been blessed to have the Darren Crocker lookalike Nathan Smith give us his thoughts on the travelling brigade.

Speed Map - The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Ulusaba has drawn the plum alley for a horse who likes to roll along out in front. Traditionally, the interstate raiders who can race on pace acquit themselves well with the short Ascot straight and Damian Lane certainly knows how to ride the track. Lady Cosmology and The Velvet King are the other obvious speed horses and the first 150m of this event will be crucial in determining their winning chances. No matter how tough The Velvet King is, this doesn’t look like a race you can sit three deep without cover in and win. They’ll be coming at you late. Simon Miller has suggested Lady Cosmology could take a sit (allowing The Velvet King to roll outside Ulusaba) and take it’s back, though I don’t know if that is the Paul Harvey way, or the Simon Miller way either for that matter.

Black Sabbath is a runner I will be putting a line through as a winning hope, though I can see connections suggesting some extremely aggressive tactics to Jason Brown. Despite his initial two wins being over the sprint journeys, they were both when racing on pace and after drawing the river, it might be a ‘handle bars down’ type effort in the first few hundred metres. Very likely to end up leading a three or even four wide line if these are the tactics.

Blackwood River (barrier 7) has drawn well to utilise his early tactical speed and should be able to find a spot one off the fence, on the back of a very hot tempo. Orcein (10), True Defender (2), Junipal (6), Fingermark (4) all appear to have the tactical speed to park up in the ‘forward of midfield group’ with Lordhelpmerun (9), True Attraction (5) and Arcadia Queen (3) just in behind them. Arcadia Queen will look to utilise the good barrier draw to hold a spot forward of midfield.

Regal Counsel (14) and Zetorio (13) will likely be a long way off them with the unluckiest runner from the barrier draw Platoon (18). The instructions on this Neville Parnham trained gelding will be fairly straight forward in hopping on the three or four wide lines and hoping Steve can go one better than he did when riding Bippo No Bungus in a similar fashion in the 2012 edition of this race. Depending how the race is run, it could almost end up a blessing.

The Locals

Lordhelpmerun - The lone Steve Wolfe runner in the field, has targeted at this race since his Group Three, Western Australian Sires victory as a two year old. The first three runners in that event do battle again here, with all three realistic winning hopes.

His effort in the Belgravia was concerning when they ran the 1200m at a cracker jack tempo. Like most runners, he was off the bit a long way from home but didn’t really tough it out late. His following effort in the Fairetha was a much improved effort, though he was really well held by The Velvet King.

With the superior barrier draw to that gelding, connections will be confident they can turn the tables on that galloper, though can he hold out the sprint of the smart filly?

Current Price: $12. Looks a fair price, if you were thinking of going this way. Is one I can see support coming for late.

The Velvet King - Was always a likely late nomination after a dominant victor of the Fairetha Stakes. Was supported on the day and ridden like the best, toughest horse in the race when nothing really looked like getting near him in the straight. Was dealt a huge blow when the barrier draw was announced and it’ll take something special from the punters pal Pateman.

Did go out hard alongside Cocky Dodd (6.5 lengths quicker than average tempo) which will give connections confidence he can again do the work early and be tough late. Only four runners ran a quicker last 200m than him despite that early work.

Current Price: $5.50. Somebody at Tabtouch decided to lob up $31 when the final field was announced on Monday. This didn’t last long and the one or two astute punters who snapped that up, should get a ride for their money. Deserves to be on the first few lines of betting, though I expect you’ll see closer to $10 available on the day because of the draw.

Black Sabbath - When nominations were first released, was a lot of peoples early tip for the race. Was a solid effort in the Belgravia when not getting the cleanest run in transit, before a solid effort behind The Velvet King and Lordhelpmerun in the Fairetha.

From out in the car park, I can’t mount a winning case.

Current Price: $21. You’ll get $50+ on the day.

Platoon - Cruelled by the barrier draw after tracking towards this race with near perfection. Drew the widest gate in the Fairetha when putting in the eye catcher over the final 200m and savaging the line. While not all is lost, the task of winning a race of this magnitude from the high draw requires a lot to go right.

If they are stopping out in front and causing a road block on those behind it, will be the widest runner finishing hard late. That’s the only way it can be ridden.

Current Price: $18. Unlikely to firm from the draw, so is one you would look at shopping late for if you were that way inclined.

Blackwood River - This Stephen Miller trained gelding adds a nice little point of difference to this event. The appointment of Jarrad Noske is a major positive. Is the horse who looks well placed to use his early gate speed to find a spot just behind this frenetic tempo. Runs earlier in this campaign around True Attraction and Unikat, who have struggled in this grade, do point you toward the fact he may just be a length or three off the top liners.

Possesses a similar profile to Variation who won the race for this stable in 2016 and is not without hope.

Current Price: $21. I don’t think you’ll see better than the $21. Is on an upward curve this campaign and as mentioned, the stable know how to win this and don’t mind a bet.

True Defender - Before his return effort in the Fairetha, I thought he might have been one who had snuck under the WA Guineas radar. Perhaps a little flat from the gap between runs, or perhaps his previous form just didn’t quite equate to this grade, he was just OK. Could not have been handled much better by Chris Parnham that day and it would take monumental improvement for him to feature here.

Current Price: $19. Despite the draw, he will be more than double this price on the day.

True Attraction - Burst onto the WA Guineas scene with a brilliant last to first effort back in October. The horse it nobbed late, Blackwood River has since made that form look more than adequate. Barrier manners will again prove to be his achilles heel; he has only settled in front of two gallopers (in total) across his four career starts. If Peter Hall can utilise the nice draw and we can see a marked improvement out of the steel jaws, he is a blowout hope. Peter Hall is no stranger to winning in the cerise and white.

Current Price: $18. This looks about right. I again suspect you will be able to shop longer on the day however. His barrier antics will turn a lot of prospective punters away.

Regal Counsel - Was backed as if unbeatable in a Bunbury maiden, before putting in an effort which outdid expectations in the listed Fairetha. This is a bridge too far from the barrier.

Current Price: $151. Not a winning chance.

Fingermark - This is a horse who could cause some harm to this field. Having drawn barrier 4, he is 10 lengths off the top end of this field, though does race in the forward half. The likes of Arcadia Queen and True Attraction who are drawn to be in his moving line, will want to avoid being part of the backward slide when he starts losing ground on the turn.

Current Price: $81. Will need to be doing his best Steven Bradbury imitation to be any hope. Jumps $400+ on the exchange.

Zetorio - If you are looking for a complete maddie that is worth a small each way investment, then this Roy Rogers gelding is worth consideration. Was a superior run to Black Sabbath and Lordhelpmerun (none of the colts or geldings engaged here beat him home that day) in the Belgravia, before running a slick last sectional (despite early interference in the straight) to run 6th in the Fairetha.

Lacks the class to win, but is a better hope than a few of the current $20 rated pops.

Current Price: $101. Unlikely to be a huge amount of support, but could be the blowout for third or fourth for exotic players.

Lady Cosmology - The first of the females and again I am going to look back to late October’s Belgravia Stakes. With the tempo set, had absolutely no right to sit three deep the trip and still be coming late. Followed that up with a perfect front running ride from Harvey to nick the Burgess Queen, before a gallant second to Arcadia Queen in last weeks Champion Fillies.

Conditions of this event do not look to be in her favour with Ulusaba likely to hold the rail and The Velvet King coming across and wanting her spot outside the speed. Still, she is tough and all things being equal, the girls look to have the edge on the blokes.

Current Price: $12. If she drew a barrier (or at worst inside all other speed horses) she would be half this quote.

Arcadia Queen - Gush. The Bob Peters production line continues to churn out quality fillies and Arcadia Queen could be one of his best. Her only defeat came when she was in an impossible position on straightening against one of her major rivals in Lady Cosmology. She was still the run of the race.

Before the barrier draw, Platoon was considered one of the major players (he’s been $8 to $21 since the draw) and this was evident at his most recent outing, where his effort was on par with The Velvet King’s as the pick of the race. Arcadia Queen did face Platoon a month ago, when she made that gelding look completely second rate. The fillies form just looks superior.

The girls are the pick of the bunch. And she is the pick of the girls.

Current Price: $3.50. There will be natural support for a lot of other runners in this race (especially one with the name D. Weir next to it) so predicting a peak price for Arcadia Queen is an impossibility. The $3.50 is well and truly over my rated price and I would not be shy about hopping in.

Flirtini - The third and final filly to do battle is by no means just making up the numbers. Chased hard in the Belgravia before sitting out in no man’s land in the Burgess Queen. A run you can put a line through. Will be ridden with a sit here and Lucy Warwick really has horses running for her at the moment.

Current Price: $26. She won’t start any shorter than this, but there are far worse each way investments.

Nathan Smith’s look at the Raiders

The three eastern states raiders for the Guineas are pretty hard to line up against our best three year olds. They do all profile as similar types, however they haven’t been tested against the A-Grade three year olds over East and are certainly a notch below those that have been going around in the Spring classic races.

One potential line is that Junipal has form through a horse called Syd’s Coin. They have run close to each other in races and appear to have similar ability. Syd’s Coin raced against Ranier over a mile on Derby Day, it started $41, and was beaten five lengths, albeit Ranier had the plum draw and raced on the best part of the track. I’d think Ranier would start favourite and win a WA Guineas if here and 100%, but it is not a five length better horse than our best three year olds.
Orcein and Ulusaba come out of similar races in Sydney, where the fields are a lot smaller and have obviously been racing in the opposite direction. Racing the Perth way in a full field around Ascot might have them out of their comfort zone.
Where the raiders may have an edge is in their grounding over a mile. All three horses have raced three times at a mile or more, which may hold them in good stead if the expected hot tempo turns the race in to a staying test. All the local runners have either never run at a mile or had their first attempt last start.

Junipal should look to slot in midfield, Lane will definitely want to hold out the early challengers from gate 1 on Ulusaba and be leader’s back at worst. Waterhouse wouldn’t send a horse over to Perth to have it settle buried three or four back on the paint. Orcein may try to take a chance to push forward for a spot, but it’s harder to see what the plan will be from that gate. As to the best of the three, it’s a slight leaning to Junipal, but it really is guesswork.

Race Summary - While this will be run at a frantic tempo, I see the on pace brigade as quality gallopers who will still be putting in, half way down the straight. This should prove beneficial to those gallopers who have drawn well and have the suck run in behind them. I’m using the Belgravia as my major tool when comparing the geldings and the fillies and the efforts of Lady Cosmology (who was the clear run of the race), Flirtini and the unfortunate Mystery Miss were the three standouts from that event. Arcadia Queen is a better filly than all three of these, has drawn well, has the Wizard on board and I am convinced that only bad luck beats her here.

Terry’s Selections

Arcadia Queen
The Velvet King
Lady Cosmology

Nathan’s Selections

Arcadia Queen
Lady Cosmology

Suggested Bet: 100 wins Arcadia Queen. She is my best bet of the day.


Race 8 - Railway Stakes

The race which stops half a nation. This isn’t the highest quality Railway Stakes of all time and I don’t really agree with the 4kg swing from top to bottom in the weights, but nonetheless it looks a great betting medium with opinion sure to be divided on Galaxy Star’s (and William Pike’s) ability to weave a passage to victory from a sticky inside draw.

It’ll be the same structure as the WA Guineas preview, with Nathan Smith again giving us the low down on the Eastern State runners.

Speed Map - Rhys Radford and Craig Staples would have been hoping for one thing from the barrier draw - be UNDERNEATH Wrinkly. Unfortunately this didn’t happen and the long shot of the field will lead them up from barrier 3 with Great Shot to parked on his outside. Wrinkly will be gone at the 250m mark (at best) but this still probably rules a line through Great Shot, who you would presume needed the rail to have any hope of making it back to back Railway’s.

The battle of tactics for those who want to sit just off the speed will make the race, with all drawn slightly awkwardly. Man Booker (barrier 11), Prized Icon (9), Achernar Star (14) and Iconoclasm (12) all do their best work when in the first few in running, but there won’t be room for all of them to get the cuddled up runs just off the speed. The big plus for these four is the fact Wrinkly is likely to go hard early and open up a vacuum for a couple of them to slot in behind it and Great Shot. Prized Icon looks the best placed to get that spot after drawing one marble underneath Great Shot, while I can see Achernar Star or Iconoclasm leading the three wide line. After his slashing (and luckless) efforts in the WA Guineas and Kingston Town last year, there must be some thought to riding Achernar Star cold.

The other positive for these on pace gallopers drawn wide, is the lack of tactical speed possessed by the well drawn brigade. Material Man (5), Gatting (1) and Perfect Jewel (7) have the potential to step cleanly, but it is likely there will be room between this group and the two leaders early. Material Man tends to be the cleanest beginner of this group and is the best mapped horse in the field. Should settle in the first six.

Much has been made of Galaxy Star’s inability to step away cleanly and whether barrier 2 will in fact be a help or a hindrance. You can make a case either way, but I suspect Pike won’t be afraid to try and use him a little early, knowing he only has 53kg’s on his back. Peaceful State (4), Mister Sea Wolf (6) are other noted back markers who will be hoping to hold midfield spots from the good draws.

Action will be back last from barrier 15.

The Locals

Material Man - Seeing Material Man attack a Railway fresh, brings back memories of the absolute scenes post Mr Moet saluting in this race in 2014. He was $251 to $20’s in the all-in markets, and from all accounts Adam Durrant bought 12 islands off the coast of the Caribbean with his winnings. This galloper is not as well hidden, with 4 straight trial victories in a very unorthodox, but now proven, preparation for our biggest race. Can thank the Goldophin stable (Hartnell was in the final weights) for only carrying the 57kg’s and if Justin has this galloper at his very best, he is drawn to go awfully close here.

A lot of trust is required, but after the barrier draw he is WA’s second best hope. Any type of run and look for him to start favourite in the WFA Kingston Town ($15 is still available).

Current Price: $13. Has already been specced over the last few days and I suspect that’ll keep coming. A lot worse each way bets at the double figure quote.

Great Shot - Another who will be tickled pink getting into this race with only 2 kgs more than he carried to victory 12 months ago. Connections would have hated seeing Wrinkly make the final field and that dagger would have been further plunged into the chest with it drawing underneath him. Hard to see Wrinkly handing up, so he will be forced to sit outside the speed here.

Such a strong tough horse, but I just can't have him with Wrinkly’s addition to the race.

Current Price: $13. Has fluctuated between $13 and $31 since final field markets opened. Won at around $25 in 2017 and I suspect you’ll see a near identical price at the jump. Can lightning strike twice?

Man Booker - Was relatively bullish on Man Booker early and I remain somewhat confident in the ‘ladies horse’ running a big race. No stranger to winning on our biggest race day after taking out the Guineas in 2015, but does have to deal with a tricky little draw. Harvey will be aiming to follow Great Shot across and nip in behind him (probably the best spot to be in the run), but he won’t be alone in wanting that spot.

Happy putting a line through his last effort in a very funny form race. With a better draw he’d be in my top few.

Current Price: $14. Would be under $8 with a good draw. From 11, this price looks spot on.

Gatting - When a horse wins at WFA, drops 6kg’s back to a handicap, draws barrier 1 and gets the services of one of the countries best hoops it is hard to see why it can’t win. Then you see the dreaded bar shoe go on.

I would not have tipped Gatting in a million years in the Group Two Lee Steere, but his win was phenomenal. Every runner in that field will do battle in a Group One over the next fortnight and he made them all look second rate. He is a galloper I really don’t know what to make of.

Current Price: $13. Purely on his last run, with the list of positives mentioned above he deserves to be half this quote. But that run was ‘out of the box’ and the bar shoe does go on, so this quote looks spot on. The hardest horse to price all day.

Achernar Star - Twitter will probably break if this fellow is the first past the post. A brilliant training effort from Simon Miller to get him back on track after a failed campaign mid year has seen him run three big races upon return. As touched on earlier, was luckless at last years carnival and that luck seems to have continued with the horror barrier draw. Likely to look for a spot forward (three wide line on the back of Iconoclasm would be the aim), but a case could be made to ride him cold.

There’ll be a few frothies flowing at Ascot if he is successful.

Current Price: $16. From the gate he has to drift. Is another who would have started $10 or less from a good alley.

Action - Expecting this galloper to put in a real ‘get on me in the Kingston’ type run. Was no match for Galaxy Star two starts ago and unless that galloper doesn’t see daylight in the straight, it is hard to see how he beats him home, let alone the rest of the field.

Wasn’t ridden to his strengths last start when looking for runs between horses. Really does need to wind up. Not sure if Paddy Carbery is the right choice of jockey for a horse who requires some subtle reminders to keep his mind on the job throughout running.

Current Price: $15. Clear unders, gets to $30+ on the exchange. Won’t win this or the WFA Kingston Town, but will go very close in the Perth Cup.

Disposition - The Gangemi’s have had unparalleled success with ‘used’ gallopers, but getting Dispo up here would be taking that success to an all new level. A long way short of this lot.

Current Price: $101. Can’t win.

Galaxy Star - When you win nine of your first twelve starts (and run fairly unlucky seconds at your other three) and get in with 53kg’s you are naturally going to be hard to beat.

A recent victory in the Group Three Asian Beau, could not have been any more impressive visually, though when deciphering the form from the race is looks less appealing. Action was a clear second in that event and while that galloper probably didn’t get the run he wanted at his most recent outing, he was still somewhat disappointing. Nothing further back in the field really makes you feel good about the form. In saying that, you can only beat what is in front of you and it clearly rated as the best win of the day with Pike sitting up over the final stages.

The step up to the mile and the 53kg’s (even though he is technically not well weighted being a 98 rater in a 104+ event) are well in his favour, though the barrier draw is up for debate as a positive or negative. There is nobody else I would want on that type of horse from the draw and I am sure I won’t be alone in hoping that Pike packs his pogo stick again.

Current Price: $3.35. With the worrying barrier draw, I suspect he won’t get much shorter than this. Has only started above $2 once (SP’d at $2.05 first up this campaign), we know punters don’t miss him; but this is a Railway.

Perfect Jewel - Really hard to have on her last run behind Gatting. The only thing in her favour is the fact Bob wouldn’t be running her if she had any type of issues.

Current Price: $31. Looks severe unders. Will trade at close to $100 on the exchange.

Star Exhibit - Funnily enough is the best weighted horse on the minimum (104 rater in a 104+). Meets a lot of these better at the weights and his last effort behind Gatting was an improvement. The target will be the 2100m Cox Stakes (or whatever name it has this year) and the Perth Cup.

Current Price: $101. Not a winning hope.

Wrinkly - Connections of some of the higher rated on pace gallopers would be a little disappointed to see an 89 rater make the final field. Will roll forward and play a huge part in the makeup of the race without being a realistic winning hope.

Current Price: $101. Not a winning hope.

Nathan Smith’s look at the Raiders

Peaceful State - Has now become the clear second seed courtesy of drawing gate 4. Whether that barrier is enough to see the horse settle in the first half of the field though is doubtful. The game within the game may see them want to steal a march and cross the favourite on its inside at the start. Has performed consistently well over East under Weir, however has yet to greet the judge against the open class since turning four. A first up second behind the smart Land of Plenty and a fast finishing 3rd last start in the G1 Cantala Stakes, shows the hoof is on the till. It did have some favours in that run as most horses back on the rail during that event finished off the strongest on a rail biased track on the first day of the Flemington Carnival. Has to be a huge chance down in the weights in this.

Iconoclasm - The second of the Weir runners has drifted after drawing gate 12, but I don’t see it being the worst gate. The horse has shown it can win sitting 3 wide without cover before and appreciates racing room. Obviously it wouldn’t be ideal to be out on a limb in a competitive Railway, but it will roll forward and if it can get cover just off the speed, should look hard to beat on straightening. Can settle on the pace, run a last 600m in the 34s and carries no weight, which has to be a competitive recipe here. The run in the Cantala, didn’t have the same flashing light as his stablemate, but he did travel towards the inferior outside in the run and copped a decent hip and shoulder from Peaceful State at the 400. It still battled to the line a couple of lengths away and was still strong on the line.

Mister Sea Wolf - Comes out of the same form race as the two Weir runners and the run can best be described as inconclusive. Was given windburn by the superior Land of Plenty on straightening and then raced in restricted room in the straight and never really recovered. It’s run in G1 Epsom was very good beaten 3 lengths behind a flying Hartnell. That shows there is some ability there, but in a race where it maps to settle back in the field near Peaceful State and Galaxy Star, it’s difficult to see it sprinting quicker than those horses.

Prized Icon - The only raider that doesn’t come out of the Cantala Stakes, this former VRC Derby winner drops back from the 2000m of the Mackinnon States. I’m not sure the form out of the race will really stack up, the clear favourite Blair House ran well below expectations, and the winner (can’t remember the name or the state it used to race in) was virtually handed the race being allowed to dictate in front. Although a Group 1 winner, it’s hard not to see this horse as a bit of a nonny, having not won in over two years since taking out that Derby. The turn of foot required to win races like this over a mile probably just isn’t quite there, but it always seems to be the thereabouts and could be in the right spot to strike here.

Race Overview: While the confidence was sky high in the WA Guineas, I can’t say I have the same enthusiasm here. I’m simply going to land on Galaxy Star because unlike a lot of the social media world, I really do trust William Pike. I struggled to split him and the Darren Weir trained Peaceful State. Both of these gallopers are not renowned for their barrier manners, but both have drawn well enough to hold a midfield spot if they can bring their best on the day. Peaceful State does look the more likely of the two to hold a more forward a position in running, though I am happy sticking with our star.

Terry’s Selections

Galaxy Star
Peaceful State
Material Man

Nathan’s Selections

Galaxy Star
Material Man
Peaceful State

Suggested Bet: 50 wins Galaxy Star. Very close to a ‘no bet’ race, but it would feel very un-Western Australian, not to have a bet.


Race 9 - Off To The Stone Motherless

Speed Map - Moet De Vega (barrier 1) will roll forward and either take up the running or hop on the back of Kimbo’s Girl (8). Carbery will want to be careful to not allow Wonorg (2) to cross him early as that isn’t the tow into the race he’d be looking for. Mad Brad (3) seems to have improved his barrier manners this campaign and if he didn’t have the ‘DLW: 1343’ next to his name, he’d be half his current $17 quote. Should be just off the speed after two luckless, but tough efforts. One Short (5) is drawn to get the run of the race.

Ouqba Jack (12) is awkwardly drawn and Damian Lane will be looking for a spot forward of midfield for this Neville Parnham trained gelding while Paul Harvey will be looking for something similar on Watch Me Ney Ney (10). Royal Statue (9), Pearl Trade (11) and On The Turps (14) will all get well back, but are all capable of big final sectionals.

Race Overview - Looked for something to beat Moet De Vega, but couldn’t find it. This Lope De Vega gelding should get every conceivable hope from the inside gate with only 54.5kgs on his back. His recent victory was only a class 3, though The Fugazi and Trump This could both be Saturday grade gallopers. Gave away 3kg’s to The Fugazi under those conditions, but still held that smart gelding on the line. Should only improve second up.

Watch Me Ney Ney is a galloper I have a heap of time for. His most recent effort behind Arcadia Queen and Platoon needs very little introduction. The 28 days between runs is a worry for a horse who looks tough, rather than sharp.

Mad Brad and One Short will get nice runs in behind the speed, while Pearl Trade and On The Turps are both absolutely flying. If this race suits the backmarkers, they will be the two flooding down the outside with the low weights.

Thought very little of Royal Statue’s last victory. I will be the one person in Australia who will not be trying to get out on Pike in the last. I don’t think the Sebring Spy and Bucktorio form will hold up here. A difficult finish to the day, but Moet De Vega does look a clear elect.


Moet De Vega
Watch Me Ney Ney
Mad Brad
On The Turps

Suggested Bet: 70 wins Moet De Vega. Suspect the $3.50 on offer might be as good as we get.

6 Comments | 2 years ago

Recent Comments


H-BOMBER 24 Nov | Posts: 8389

Exceelent in depth preview, a pleasure to read.Mine will be less in depth with taken pricesReveille $3.9Pretentious Chant $14Freo (Best) $3.9Fire and Rain $7.50Dark Musket $21Sally Realm $15Blackwood River $18Peaceful State $5Watch Me Ney Ney $14Best double fo...

User choc

choc 24 Nov | Posts: 755

The $7 Misty Metal was juicy, did precisely what it needed to do, never looked troubled in running

User TheSwooper

TheSwooper 24 Nov | Posts: 1632

Well he certainly appreciate the speed. Lucy got lost and had no chance going when she did.

User choc

choc 24 Nov | Posts: 755

Team riding spot on there \m/

User thefalcon

thefalcon 23 Nov | Posts: 17182

thanks for the great preview, guys. well done... :)>-


H-BOMBER 23 Nov | Posts: 8389

Exceelent in depth preview, a pleasure to read.Mine will be less in depth with taken pricesReveille $3.9Pretentious Chant $14Freo (Best) $3.9Fire and Rain $7.50Dark Musket $21Sally Realm $15Blackwood River $18Peaceful State $5Watch Me Ney Ney $14Best double fo...