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Ascot R8. Railway Stakes -  1 January 1970 preview

Ascot R8. Railway Stakes - 1 January 1970

Terry Leighton | Fri 24 November, 2017






The feature event of the Perth Racing carnival and what a seriously cracking line up we have this year. No fewer than seven Eastern Staters have made the trip across (though I think we should probably call it six as Observational looks to be a gap filler… take that Tradesman). My Eastern States knowledge is not overly deep, so I have asked our resident Eastern States Guru, Nathan Smith, to give us a brief run down on this year’s Raiders:

The Raiders

Black Heart Bart - This excellent horse needs no introduction to WA racegoers. Has performed consistently well over East since transferring the Weir stable winning five Group 1 races. The stable hasn’t lacked confidence this week in suggesting they have the horse at its peak after some hoof issues. He has been racing against A-graders (including placings behind Hartnell, Vega Magic and Humidor) in four starts this prep, but has been unable to breakthrough. The record speaks for itself though and is the class runner, deserves the weight and usually thrives on dry tracks.
The concerns are also plentiful. In his previous three runs he has been vetted either prior to or after the race. He is also carries a huge frame, so hoof issues for a 7-year-old horse that size is a worry. The horse has also been up for the most part for over 18 months without a decent spell to try to chase group races on suitable dry tracks. At its best it could carry the weight and win this on class, and will be in the right spot to strike on the turn. However, there are just too many queries to back it with too much confidence. No-one would begrudge this great West Aussie a well-deserved group one in its home state.

Tom Melbourne - All the jokes have been done to death on social media, but on form and under the conditions of the race the horse has to be taken very seriously. We all know Tom has been out of the winner’s circle for 20 months, however in six starts for Chris Waller he has run tremendous races and has either found bad luck or one better. The only slightly disappointing run in my opinion was the second to Coming Through four starts back when given every chance by Blake Shinn. He almost broke through last start in Group 1 Kennedy Mile, however after clearing out to fight out the finish, stablemate Shillelagh was too strong. Both of those horses had perfect runs that day on a track which was strongly favouring the inside pad, so it may have been flattered by the finishing position. Nothing could make up ground coming from the back of the field. It draws to get the run of the race again here from gate 1 and providing having its 7th start of the prep (all over 1400m and 1600m) is not a negative, it’s hard to see it not fighting out the finish. If Tom wins there could be similar scenes on track rivalling Gary Moore’s Winterbottom celebrations last year. Tom may even channel the Chocco Williams’ celebration after Port’s first premiership and hold his tie above his head to stick it up all his knockers.

Supply And Demand - A very interesting runner and one of the few eastern states invaders that appear to have been set for the Ascot Group 1 races. The Waterhouse & Bott stable’s strike rate during the Flemington carnival was phenomenal, so it has to be considered a huge chance in the event. Last start it ran a good second over 1400m in a Group 3 contest at Flemington on Oaks Day. It was off the bit on the turn but hit the line strongly in a leader dominated race, which suggests the step up to 1600m will be ideal. The only negative is barrier 19, Josh Parr will need to be at his best to find a spot as it is doubtful it will have the speed to cross the pace horses on the inside. With luck it is a definite winning hope.

Ulmann - Comes out of the same form race as Supply And Demand, finishing fourth with Supply And Demand hitting the line the stronger. Has raced a rung below Group 1 level for most of its career, however jumping from barrier 4 with Damien Lane on board should see it land the perfect spot not far from the pace. Darren Weir has taken a while to find success when travelling horses outside of Victoria but after winning the Kingston Town last year his record has improved greatly. The ability to run a strong mile is a query, but if given a similar run to when it ran down the heavily supported stablemate Burning Front second up over 1400m, I can see it look a winning hope close to home.

All Our Roads - A Chris Waller runner that is coming in to the race fourth up, so it seems this is a target race. It comes out of the Kennedy Mile where it finished fourth, 3 lengths back from Tom Melbourne. It drew the right part of the track that day and from barrier 1 was a surprise leader. However, it ran along and copped heavy pressure from Radipole on its outside and was put away early in the straight by Shillelagh and Tom Melbourne who had the suck runs. It will certainly run a strong mile, but the wide gate has really killed its chances. It will need an 11 out 10 ride from the 11 out of 10 heart-throb Craig Williams to be a winning hope.

Sovereign Nation - The Hayes stable has been airborne all year so it’s dangerous to write off one of their runners, however this may be a bridge too far for Sovereign Nation. The stable may also be more concerned about ex-WA champion Boom Time’s match race with the ambulance in the Japan Cup on Sunday to focus too much on this event. Sovereign Nation had barrier 3 in the same form race as Tom Melbourne and All Our Roads last start, and after a soft run along the rails peaked on its run like a tired horse over the last furlong. Traditionally this has been an off-season horse and ran its best races during the Melbourne winter against the lower grade horses. It can unleash a devastating turn of foot on its day, but it’s hard to see it sustaining a big run around a 16-horse field at Ascot. I expect this horse to settle near last and find the task too tough.

Observational - This horse missed a run last week due to an enforced scratching by the stewards. It is second up into this off a 4 week break, has glue on shoes and synthetic hoof-filler, its mile wins have come at Bendigo against the likes of Jacquinot Bay and the trainer is suggesting this is a barrier trial for the Kingston Town. And these are the positives. Not keen.

The Locals

Scales Of Justice – The new pin-up boy of WA racing who burst onto the scene this day 12 months ago. Was the beneficiary of a feather weight and a soft time of it out in front on that particular day, but was still extremely dominant in victory. Proved it was no fluke with what should have been a Kingston Town win, had Douglas Whyte not done his best Robert Markou impersonation with 30 metres to go. I don’t like the little Melbourne campaign only a couple of months before this race and think Lindsey Smith is trying to be a little tricky with the horse going in second up here. Unlikely to lead this event and has to carry deserved weight this time round. Where he gets in the run with the speed drawn wide will be integral to his hopes.

Great Shot – Looking at this horse v Scales Of Justice, purely on their last runs you will see that Great Shot beat SoJ home and meets him 4kgs better for doing so. Yet one is $6 and the other $30 in the market. Obviously, there are plenty more factors to it (SoJ’s fitness, the fact Great Shot has probably reached it’s level), but it tells you this is one of our local products who is a little underrated. Will look to lead this event, in what appears to be a fascinating speed battle. Don’t think he has the class to win, but will love rolling along in front with only 53.5kgs.

Silverstream – Before the barrier draw, I had her as WA’s best hope in this race and due to my stubbornness, I’m going to stick to that. A seriously underrated mare who despite the horror barrier draw, is still WAY over the odds at $17. Many people forget at only her 9th career start, she ran an unlucky 5th in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes when running the quickest final 600m. Her career seemed to stifle a little from there and the stable looked to ramp her up in journey. Once she hit the 1400m and beyond, she arguably should be unbeaten, with some very unlucky runs alongside some slashing victories. Fourth up at the mile coming off two very strong victories, she fits the profile of a Railway Stakes winner. I dare say from the barrier we will need to see some William Pike magic, but I get the feeling he might pack his pogo stick for this one.

Cosmic Storm – The second of the Bob Peters runners who has the dreaded bar shoes added to her gear. Not what you want to see heading into a Group 1. Her last run was only fair, and she has to contend with a difficult draw. Not for me.

Disposition – Hasn’t come back after a brilliant Hannan’s win with two dour efforts in the Northerly and Lee Steere. Will go out at over $100, and that is probably a fair price.

Gatting – The decision to give the ride to Lee Newman and cop the extra kilo must be one of the more perplexing decisions I can ever remember. Damian Oliver, William Pike maybe even Craig Williams are worth the extra keg. But Lee Newman? An odd sense of loyalty often exists with this stable, and while you have to admire it, you also can’t help but question the stupidity of it. Would hate to see him get beaten in a photo….

Material Man – Justin Warwick is a very coy trainer and I get the feeling he may have been kidding with Material Man in last weekend’s RJ Peters Stakes. If anyone can get a horse to improve dramatically in the space of 7 days (I suspect by design more so than hard work), it is J Warwick. Will appreciate the 53kgs and is a real X-factor in this race.

Pounamu – I’ve been a big fan of the grey since he made his way across from NSW and love that he gets a crack at a Group 1 victory. Don’t think he is up to this level, but his most recent win when defeating the handicappers horse, Variation, proves he is not out of place. Will get back and look to be running on.

Variation – This will probably give him every chance, but I think this son of War Chant might just be a touch overrated. Last start was clearly a pipe opener for this event, but I would have liked to see him beat Pounamu the previous start. Brad Parnham handles this force perfectly and he should get all the favours from the gate. I just think he may be a length or two off the top liners.

Speed Map

Speed has drawn wide. It’s a bit of a lottery guessing what some of them will do but: Scales Of Justice (barrier 13), Supply And Demand (19), Great Shot (11) and All Our Roads (18) all like to race prominently and due to their barriers may be forced to be ultra-aggressive out of the gates. Great Shot should hold up and lead with Scales Of Justice potentially on his outside and one of the other Eastern Staters leading a three wide line. In a perfect world Scales Of Justice may hand up and look for the one by one.

Tom Melbourne (1), Ulmann (5), Gatting (3) and Variation (4) are the horses drawn to get the suck runs just in behind them with Black Heart Bart (8) in that next wave. William Pike will be dropping Silverstream out to a long last after drawing the widest gate, but that tends to be where he does his best work. Expect to see him looking for holes in the field rather than coming around them 5 and 6 deep on the turn. Pikey style.

Suggested Bet


$30 win

All bets represent a maximum confidence rating of $100 expenditure.

Terry Leighton's Bets for the Meeting

$0 Total Bets$$$0.00

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93 Comments | 6 years ago

Recent Comments

User hash

hash 27 Nov | Posts: 7333

not sure who he is or how well he tips but.... Aaron Mills� top three to follow from Ascot November 25There were some excellent runs in the Group I Railway Stakes on Saturday however one stands head and shoulders above the others as we head towards the Ki...

User Ridersonthestorm33

Ridersonthestorm33 26 Nov | Posts: 10316

@Chelsea not a bad Tab double dividend on your two selections...Great Shot - Push To Pass $1457. One of the bigger double dividends have seen for awhile.

User Tivers

Tivers 26 Nov | Posts: 7689

Doesn�t say anything re 7 days in the rule quoted ? What they have done this time is specified must trial twice, which will force the 7 days (+) obviously...

User RIO

RIO 26 Nov | Posts: 14762

the person that I chatted with was talking about failing to load...But whatever it was, under LR64(a) it is up to the stewards to impose those sanctions and in Sophia's instance they chose to allow it to trial on the Monday and then race on the Saturday in an ...

User Fastmoney

Fastmoney 26 Nov | Posts: 4685

Maybe the 7 day stand downs are for a scratching by the vet (different to failing to load).2 different circumstances, perhaps interpreted as the same thing.

User RIO

RIO 26 Nov | Posts: 14762

Nor can I, but others have to wait at least a week to trial, to be cleared to race again....It may be a special condition the stewards have put on for whatever reason..I think this covers it....and once again it is up to the stewards, "lets pl...

User Fastmoney

Fastmoney 26 Nov | Posts: 4685

 I am reliably informed (haven't checked it as i don't really know where to look) that when this happens you CAN NOT trial the horse within 7 days of the race.Even if it was a rule (don`t think it is), as long as you are cleared prior to nominating, can`t...

User RIO

RIO 26 Nov | Posts: 14762

So the Guineas.....and Sophia's Secret.She was scratched at the barriers in the Champions Fillies due to failing to load. I am reliably informed (haven't checked it as i don't really know where to look) that when this happens you CAN NOT trial the horse within...

User thefalcon

thefalcon 26 Nov | Posts: 19490

hashie you can shout me a few  :!!

User hash

hash 25 Nov | Posts: 7333

Ascot R9. Tabtouch Perth Cup - New Year's Day Handicap - Terry LeightonPush To Pass is far better than a $40 chance. If stuff has hit the fan in the first 8 races, this may be the hail mary you�ve been looking for.   10. FRIARESQUE - 4. FIRST AFFAI...