Grade Group 1
Track Rating Good 4
2018 winner Galaxy Star ($2.90)
The Railway Stakes always presents a challenge when lining up the local form against the Melbourne Spring carnival horses, and this year's edition is no different.
I suspect that the locals have a more "timed" preparation given this has been their target all along, as opposed to the dangerous afterthought status of some visitors.
Taking this into consideration, I am still with an Eastern raider who stands out at the price. However, I am ultra wary of the key locals and will include them in everything.
Ascot Track Traits
The Ascot surface is currently rated a Good 4, with the rail out 2m the entire circuit. Fine conditions are predicted in Perth for Saturday's racing.
With the rail only out 2m, expect the surface to race evenly. However with any improvement, a hard and fast track should present a slight advantage for leaders.
As always, a close watch is advised early to determine any fast lanes or bias.
Velvet King remains rock solid at $6.00.
All other runners remain steady.
#1 Gatting $11.00
Has had an outstanding preparation this time in, winning the
Makybe Diva Stakes and finishing close up in the Underwood (5 of 12).
The only concern is that he has been up a long time now and could be nearing a stale run.
Considering how well found he's now in the market, I suspect that he is overbet and would prefer others.
#2 Best Of Days $9.00
Was excellent two back in the Crystal Mile (3 of 11) then ran well again at Flemington in the
Kennedy Cantala (5 of 16).
The east coast form should hold up well in this and although the horse has not won in some time, he looks well suited.
Expect him to find cover midfield in the moving line and from there, he can peel away to get home hard. Goes on top.
#3 Star Exhibit $14.00
Arrives second-up following a strong win in the Lee Steere Stakes here on his return, where he beat Gatting.
I love the profile second-up (6:1-2-1) and despite his big showing last start, I suspect that he can still take good improvement.
The current $14 is more than acceptable and he is a must include in everything. Yes.
#4 Achernar Star $13.00
Has the services of Perth's favourite son Damien Oliver, who is ultra passionate about WA racing and will pull out all stops here.
The rider's manager/form analyst is considered the best in the business and if he has identified this horse, it is likely to be a top hope.
Expect them to ride with good intent from the outside draw in barrier 16 and this could work in their favour. Leading chance.
#5 Reykjavik $12.00
Won at Flemington at his latest when taking out the Chatham Stakes in a blanket finish.
The win possibly flattered him a little. There wasn't much between the first few across the line and the horse was blessed with the dream run.
The stable are very shifty and although he's not in my numbers, a win would not shock.
#6 The Velvet King $6.00
Gun local who looks to have returned in great order, following three sound runs back this preparation.
He has a real sense of timing and there's no doubt this race has been the plan all along.
The rider can be anywhere he chooses from gate 6 and you can expect them to roll forward to lead or take the box seat. Genuine speed map favours.
#7 Tellem We're Comin $6.00
Has the services of Brenton Avdulla who is also managed by Damien Oliver's highly regarded form man.
They would have done plenty of homework on this runner and Brenton would not be travelling 5 hours west for fun.
I'm happy to take the lead from the nation's best form judge here and am very wary of this galloper.
#10 Perfect Jewel $16.00
Bob Peters' runner who the market have posted as the outsider of his trio.
She is lightly raced (14:4-0-2) and possibly has much more upside than many of these.
The girl (Jade McNaught) can ride and arrives in white hot form to partner a horse that does peak my interest.
Could surprise a few at odds.
#12 Regal Power $8.50
Has the key booking of the west's best in William Pike, an excellent lead in itself.
They will be forced to go back from the wide draw in barrier 15, however his natural pattern is to run-on therefore there's no huge disadvantage.
Just needs the speed to be on throughout to ensure he can get home hard from the back. Needs plenty of luck.
#13 Samizdat $6.50
Is lightly raced (8:5-0-1) and brings a very strong SP profile, where he's often hard in the market.
He is from a very shrewd stable who know how to place one. Although he was well exposed with the last start win, this would have been the main target.
Now he has to face the acid test against the good ones, however it would not surprise to see him win.
Of The Others
#8 Variation is a local who was good enough to mix it in Melbourne over the Spring Carnival, finishing 2 of 9 in the Moonga Stakes.
If the rider can find cover midfield in the moving line, he should go close. Appears big odds.
Best Racing Tips
1 st Best Of Days
2 nd Star Exhibit
3 rd The Velvet King
4 th Achernar Star