The spotlight of Australian thoroughbred racing is focused on Ascot today with the running of the $1million Railway Stakes (1600m).
A stellar cast has been assembled for the prestigious Group 1 with crowd favourite Black Heart Bart back home in the search for his first group 1 on his home soil.
Black Heart Bart had hoof issues during the Melbourne spring and will have to be at his best to lump top-weight on 59kg and win. But he does love Ascot and he has pet jockey Brad Rawiller to ride.
The running of the WA Guineas appears a close affair with the best three-year-old's in WA lined up against Godolphin’s Gaulois in the 1600m classic.
An ace card of nine exciting races to pump the hearts of punters. The weather will be fine and the track is rated as a Good 4. The false rail will be at three metres.
QUADDIES (races 6,7,8,9)
Skinny Play: 7,8 4,7 1,2 5
Wide Play: 7,8, 12 3,4,7,13 1,2,7,8 3,5,12
BEST BET: R3 – 6. TRADESMAN
Next Best Bet: R9 – 5. SEE ME SIZZLE
Best Roughie: R7 – 4. SALUBRIOUS
No5 RHI’S ROCKET was a clever winner over 1200m at Ascot two starts ago. He is on the quick back up after running a sound second over 1000m here last Saturday. He ran second to a smart type in The River and has the natural speed to be right up on the pace. From barrier five gets a good chance.
No7 REMEMBER BERLIN ran a good third to The River and Rhi’s Rocket over 1000m here last Saturday. The extra 200m will be in his favour and expect him to run a bold race. Aaron Mitchell replaces Brad Parnham and is a winner at two of his four starts over this trip.
No9 GET OVER IT won over 1200m at his last start last campaign at Belmont. He was resuming when finishing a strong fifth over 1100m here on November 4. The four-year-old has an excellent second-up record of a win and a second at his three starts. Commands respect.
No3 HOBART JONES has been sparingly raced of late. He is resuming from a 16-week spell here and showed he was primed for a first-up assault with a good second in a 950m trial at Lark Hill on November 6. He has won and finished third twice at five starts when racing fresh.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 HOBART JONES
No5 CASH ON CALL hails from the top stable of Grant and Alana Williams and has record-breaking jockey William Pike to ride at his return from a five-week break. Finished gamely when running third over 1400m here on October 21 and with a rail draw makes a strong case.
No1 GUNNAGO has won at four of his eight starts. Looms as a strong chance herewith a clever win over 1200m here on November 11. He does jump up 5kg to top weight on 59kg and that could be a steadier. Does have the in-form rider Alan Kennedy on board.
No10 GLIMMER GIRL was working home well but not well enough to finish a close third over 1000m here on November 11. That was her first start for five weeks and she will have taken benefit from the effort. She is the stablemate to Cash On Call. Gets her opportunity today.
No7 CRUACHAN has been freshened up with a three-week break. He returns here from a close fourth over 1400m here on November 4. Aaron Mitchell keeps the ride on the gelding and he does drop 3.5kg to 55kg. Faces a tougher field but the weight drop does help.
VALUE RUNNER: N07 CUCHAN
No6 TRADESMAN (BEST BET) gets his chance for a consolation win after narrowly missing a start in today’s Group 1 Railway Stakes. His form at the top level has been first class and he strikes moderate opponents here. Latest he ran a closing fourth in the Group 3 Asian Beau (1400m) here on November 11. Hong Kong jockey Douglas Whyte gets the mount and hard to beat.
No2 PROPERANTES has shown stark improvement and claimed his first win at stakes level when scoring the Group 3 Peters Stakes (1500m) here last Saturday.
No4 BOLLYWOOD BLITZ has been a star at Kalgoorlie, but he also loves this track and worth respect.
No1 ZARANTZ is having his first start for top trainer Adam Durrant. Suggest to watch the betting.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 BOLLYWOOD BLITZ
No7 CRYSTAL FOUNTAIN is a Melbourne-trained mare who if she brings her A-game here will be hard to beat. She has won four of her six starts and ran a great fifth in a Group 3 1100m race at Flemington on November 4. Top Melbourne jockey Damien Oliver rides.
No4 CELEBRITY DREAM has been in stellar form and had her winning streak burst when she ran a narrow second over to Gunnago over 1200m here on November 11. Ace jockey William Pike gives her an edge from a wide alley in 11. She appears the best of the local hopes.
No10 TOP OF THE CLASS has had two soft trials in the warm up to resuming. She showed she was classy with a brilliant win at Belmont last winter. Melbourne’s top rider Damian Lane rides for his father Michael and she has an unblemished first-up record of two wins from two starts.
No2 VOLKOFF will have taken plenty of benefit from her closing seventh to State Solicitor in last Saturday’s Group 3 Colonel Reeves (1100m) here. She is back against her own sex and she has won at Listed level before. Should get a nice run from gate five and is not out of this.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 TOP OF THE CLASS
No11 TRULY BELONG with premier jockey William Pike electing this filly above stablemate State Attorney makes a very strong case. She has been most impressive winning at three of her four starts and she comes of a great win over 1200m here on November 11. Drops a kilo to 54kg here.
No8 IN LOVE WITH PARIS is a home-bred for Oakland Park Stud and has hit the ground running with a win and a second at his two starts. Latest he finished runner up to Truly Belong over 1200m here on November 11. From barrier three he should get a cosy run behind.
No6 OCEAN JEWEL looking to the blinkers to reboot this filly. She was a massive winner first-up at Bunbury but her recent two starts at Ascot have been a little disappointing. Not prepared to sack her because she is talented and the shades can switch her back on.
No9 STATE ATTORNEY broke his maiden status in style with a smart win over 1200m maiden at York on November 12. This is a leap in class but he was a $1.50 favourite that day so the stable is confident about his untapped ability. Top jockey Chris Parnham rides again.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 OCEAN JEWEL
No8 ROYAL STAR is from the leading stables of Grant and Alana Williams who have a strangle-hold on this race with Very Tempting and Falcon Crest also running. Her strong second to Properantes in the Peters (1560m) here last Saturday suggests she is ready for this trip.
No7 TRAP FOR FOOLS has been in blistering form over the longer distances and is a serious contender in the Cup. He has won at his past two starts by over 5 lengths, the latest claiming a 2.75 length win over 2200m here on November 11. Top Hong Kong jockey Douglas Whyte rides today.
No12 VERY TEMPTING is the reigning WA Oaks winner and runner up in the WATC Derby, both run over 2400m, last autumn. She has been a bit one-paced this campaign, but this is her chance to shine following a sixth over 1800m here last Saturday. Give another chance.
No1 IHTSAHYMN is the veteran runner of the field and he showed he was back on key with a solid third in a Listed (1800m) here on November 11. He is again burdened with the biggest weight on 59kg but will keep on grinding away at the leaders down the straight.
VALUE RUNNER: No12 VERY TEMPTING
No4 SALUBRIOUS (BEST ROUGHIE) finished right on the heels of Railway Stakes hot pot Silverstream in the Group 2 Lee-Steere Stakes (1400m) at his last start on November 11. He drops back to his own age here and from barrier two should get a nice passage in running in a strong field. Nice odds at $14.
No3 MONEY MAHER is from the red hot stable of the Pearce brothers and his form is first class with three good wins from his past four starts this campaign. Latest he beat Guineas rival Archernar Star by 2 lengths in the lead up Fairetha Stakes (1400m) here on November 11. Strong chance here.
No13 ART SERIES put her head down on the line to score a fighting win in last Saturday’s Group 3 WA Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m). The stable won this year’s WATC Derby and is firing. She is on the quick back up but gets top Hong Kong rider Douglas Whyte to guide today.
No5 GAULOIS is Godolphin’s representative here. If he brings his Melbourne game here is going to be in the finish after a strong effort when had to work hard to finish a close eighth in the Group 3 Carbine Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 4. Melbourne’s top jockey Damian Lane is to ride.
VALUE RUNNER: N04 SALUBRIOUS
No1 BLACK HEART BART is a five times Group 1 winner and has recovered from a bruised hoof now. He loves this track and in spite of the big weight on 59kg will be a strong force today. Last start he was right on their heels when fifth to Bonneval in the Group 1 Underwood (1800m) at Caulfield on October 1.
No2 SCALES OF JUSTICE is out to retain his Railway crown after a big win in this race 12 months ago. He goes up 4.5kg on that win to 57.5kg, but he gets Hong Kong ace Douglas Whyte back to ride in his defense. Will be fitter for his strong third in the Group 2 Lee-Steere Stakes (1400m) first-up here a fortnight ago.
No7 SILVERSTREAM deserves her chance at the elite level, following her brilliant win in the Group 2 Lee-Steere (1400m) here a fortnight ago. She beat Perth’s main hopes Great Shot and Scales Of Justice at weight-for-age that day and drops 2.5kg to 53.5kg. Premier jockey William Pike rides again.
No5 ULMANN was set for this race following his win in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 21. He finished a good fourth to Hellova Street in the Group 3 Chatham Stakes (1400m) on November 9 and he gets Melbourne’s leading rider Damian Lane to ride for top trainer Darren Weir. Down 3.5kg to 54.5kg.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 SILVERSTREAM
No5 SEE ME SIZZLE (NEXT BEST BET) has been in blistering form and gets the white hot Perth jockey William Pike to ride in his chase for a fourth straight win today. He pipped rival First Affair over 1500m at York on November 15. Pike replaces Chris Parnham and he should get a nice run through the field from gate seven. Has only missed a place once at four starts over this distance.
No12 MOSSERATTI was a warm $3.60 when finishing third to See Me Sizzle at York. Chance again.
No2 PUSHIN’ SHAPES has a fabulous record of two wins and a third at four starts over this distance.
No4 FIRST AFFAIR has a great record over this distance and ran a close second to See Me Sizzle last start.
VALUE RUNNER: N02 PUSHIN’ SHAPES