RAILWAY STAKES 2019

 

 

 

Below are the last Nineteen winners of this excellent mile race which is always one of my favourite races on the Australian calendar. Hence the preview, which is always a tough ask!

2018 GALAXY STAR 6M (2) 53kg

2017 GREAT SHOT 5G (8) 53.5kg

2016 SCALES OF JUSTICE 4G (8) 53kg

2015 GOOD PROJECT 4H (11) 53kg

2014 ELITE BELLE 6M (12) 53.5kg

2013 LUCKYGRAY 6G (12) 58kg

2012 MR MOET 5G  (4) 53.5KG

2011 LUCKYGRAY 4G (12) 53KG

2010 GATHERING 4G (6) 52KG

2009 SNIPER’S BULLET 6G (12) 56.5KG

2008 GILDED VENOM 4G (9) 52KG

2007 EL PRESIDENTE 4G (4) 55.5KG

2006 BELLE BIZARRE 5M (6) 54KG

2005 COVERTLY 4M (2) 51KG

2004 MODEM 6G (7) 55KG

2003 HARDRADA 4G (13) 54KG (Race staged at Belmont).

2002 OLD FASHION 5G (1) 54.5KG

2001 OLD COMRADE 4G (8) 53.5KG

2000 NORTHERLY 4G (12) 51KG

 

These are the most pertinent historical statistics;

 

  1. 13/17 have carried less than 55.5kg to win, and 14/16 carried less than 56.5kg. 2007 winner El Presidente carried 55.5kg but was only 0.5kg over the minimum that year. 8 of the last 9 winners have carried 53.5kg or less. The only one not too was the dual winner Luckygray in 2011 and 2013, He had also run second in 2012 carrying 58kg.
  2. 15/17 dropped in weight from their prior start, and 14/16 didn’t rise in weight. The average weight drop over this period is roughly 3kg. No horse has won rising more than 1kg off it’s last start
  3. 12/17 have been either 4 or 5 years of age, and only 2 horses have won beyond 6 years of age since 1989. 4yo’s have won 10 of the last 20, and 17 of the past 39.
  4. The Lee Steere Classic and RJ Peters Stakes have produced 11 of the past 17 winners. Of the others- Mr Moet was first up. Sniper’s Bullet, Gathering and Good Project came via Melbourne through albeit different races, and Luckgray came through the Asian Beau Stakes to win controversially on protest. Galaxy Star also came through that race last year.
  5. 15/17 placed in the first 4 at their prior start, and all bar one of those has been a WA galloper. 27 winners since 1985 finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd at their prior start. Stick with an in form galloper!  2 of the 3 Eastern States winners in recent times were well beaten at their previous start (Sniper’s Bullet & Gathering)
  6. 11/17 have won from barriers 1-9, and 16/17 from barriers 1-12. Hardrada won from barrier 13 in 2003 but the race was run at Belmont. Oddly five of the past Ten winners have come out of barrier 11 or 12, (four from barrier 12) as did Northerly in 2000. Providing the horse has the early pace to get across to lead, or be on the pace early a wide barrier is no disadvantage, the perfect example being Good Project winning in 2015. Either that or your horse needs to drop out to the tail early (Luckygray twice, and Elite Belle). Caught midfield off a wide barrier here is almost always fatal and getting the speed map right for this race is crucial
  7. 4 of the past 17 winners had run in this race in one of the past two years. 3 of those had been runner up.
  8. 5 of the past 8 winners have come from a midfield or worse position to win, which is a total reversal for this race which was largely dominated by on pace horses (or those sitting on pace to midfield) in the decade prior.
  9. 15/17 had raced in Perth at some stage before winning. Gathering in 2010, and Good Project in 2015 are the only one’s not to have done so. Gathering got a soft lead off a very suitable (for him) 27 day break leading in, and GP also raced right on the pace.
  10. Only 3 Stallions had won the race in the past 27 years. Good Project broke the drought in 2015, with the previous being Island Morn in 1994.
  11. Average winning price is around $10 and that is consistent with the results over more than a 20 year period.
  12. Only 4 mares have won in the past 17 years, and all three have been aged  5 to  6.
  1. 3 of the past fourteen winners (but 3 of last 10)  have come from the Eastern States. All have been Sydney trained and came out of a last start Spring carnival run  in Melbourne. And all have been on pace runners.

Summing up the ideal historical candidate would be;

4 to 6 years of age, B) finished in the first 4 placings last start, C)Carrying less than 55.5kg and preferably less than 53.5kg  D) Coming from a barrier no wider than 12, E) had a lead up run in the Lee Steere, RJ Peters or Asian Beau (more recently) and F) be dropping in weight 2.5kg or more. G) Preferably be a Gelding or Mare. Finding one with all these pre requisites at close to or at a double figure quote would be ideal.

 

Tempo;

This is quite difficult to come to terms with. The Velvet King is an on pacer but he has a tendency to miss the start and hasn’t found the lead in recent times. Gatting can race handy, but the jockey will almost certainly not want to lead, and Reykjavik proved last start at Flemington he can race near the pace. From barrier 1 Tamasa can also be up near the leaders, but has never led in a race either. I would expect it to be in the first three or four runners early though, if he jumps on terms. Best Of Days might try to get on pace from his awkward barrier.

This might just be one of those races where an inside barrier is invaluable even if your selection is a get back in the field type horse. Overall though this looks a great race for an on pacer now that the only true leader Cockney Crew is scratched.

  1. GATTING– See point 7 above which alone gives him a realistic hope here. Whilst his 1600m stats don’t look flash his best two career runs have been at the trip, a second in this race last year and a win in the Makybe Stakes at Flemington earlier this  Spring beating Mystic Journey.  No doubt he wouldn’t have been totally ready to win last start coming off that break in Melbourne, so he should be fitter for it and he has drawn to advantage in a race that should be run to suit. Mitchell Pateman rides and swaps with Chris Parnham who rides the stablemate The Velvet King. Nothing can be read into that as Pateman probably can’t make the weight for the other horse. He loves this track but the negative of course is the weight, and the fact that he gives up to 6kg to horses he opposed last start. Nevertheless he looks a live chance with several things in his favour, and he has a decent big weight carrying record.
  2.  BEST OF DAYS- Godolphin Eastern States horse who has been average this Spring in Melbourne and has drawn a bit awkwardly here. Historically he doesn’t look a good fit but the fact he can race close to the pace gives him some hope. He is one of two horses here to have a Group 1 win at a mile but he did that with much less weight and from an inside barrier. Two of his last three runs have been on wet tracks and maybe he is better served on firmer ground. Not hopeless but it’s hard to win over in Perth at your first start and a better barrier would have been preferable.
  3. STAR EXHIBIT– Dual Perth Cup winner who scored a surprise win first up in the Lee Steere Classic coming from last on the turn. Jockey Peter Hall has a great affinity with him being aboard five times for three wins. He ran 7th from a wide barrier in this race last year but his form coming in was quite poor and he has obviously come back a superior horse which is surprising given his age of 8. Interestingly Gatting won the Lee Steere last year in a time of 1.24.32 (34.60) whilst this year he won the same race in 1.22.61 (33.88). Safe to say his last 600m was electric last start and he can’t be dismissed in this race from a far better barrier than he had last year when not beaten all that far. He had twelve months off before his Perth Cup preparation last year but only seven months this year which might explain his forwardness first up He is quite hard to knock dropping 2.5kg off that first up wi,n and his record carrying this sort of weight is 2-2/4. I guess the only query is how far back he will get, and whether he goes as well second up. The former fact didn’t seem to bother him first up. His price of around $11 looks about right.
  4. ACHERNAR STAR– He ran a super race second up this campaign but was a bit disappointing last start when ridden closer to the lead. The very wide barrier is probably going to make things tough for him in this (as he surely gets trapped wide) even with the services of D.Oliver. 0-3/5 at a mile and all his wins are below the trip makes it even harder to get keen on his chances.
  5. REYKJAVIC– He is a very interesting runner returning to Perth off two good wins in Melbourne in the past four months or so in the Lindsey Smith stable. The last of those was at his previous start where even the trainer thought he might be a bit underdone. His 1-7/13 at this track is a bit of a concern, and realistically he wasn’t a top level Perth horse before he went to Melbourne. Ideally you’d like to have seen him drawn better than 12,  but he almost certainly will go forward and sit no worse than midfield. That gives him a live hope with a light weight, but others have that luxury too and I’m not totally convinced he is a Group 1 horse. Dean Yendall aboard is an asset though. He rarely doesn’t give his mounts every possible hope, and he has a good record with this stable.
  6. THE VELVET KING– He is a very consistent 4yo who has the advantage of being an on pacer jumping from a good barrier, which could be crucial in this race. From my perspective he was a bit disappointing last start and I expected him to win a couple more races last preparation too. Maybe I’m being a tad harsh but he hasn’t convinced me he is quite up to winning a Group 1 race. Maybe the change of jockey is a positive and the drop in weight almost certainly is, given he is a horse that has never carried a weight lower than 55kg. Personally I’d like to see him lead this race as it might be his best winning chance, although that’s hardly a conclusive opinion. He is very dogged though, and if he gets a few soft sectionals up front he is going to take a lot of running down. Definitely a winning hope although I do have some reservations, now allayed somewhat with the scratching of Cockney Crew.
  7. TELLEM WE’RE COMIN– On his Winter form he would probably struggle to win this race, but this preparation he really seems to have found another gear. That rise in form seems to have coincided with the Blinkers going back on. His win in track record time in the Hannans at Kalgoorlie was extremely impressive, and so was his last start Northam Cup win at a mile. He is 4/4 at this trip and the barrier looks okay for him as he is a horse that needs to get out into open spaces at some stage. The big field worries me a bit as does the fact that William Pike (8/10 aboard) has had to relinquish the ride as he is the number one pilot for the Bob Peters team and now rides Regal Power instead. Brenton Avdulla aboard seems an odd choice as he’s not familiar to Perth racing, but he did win the Metropolitan in Sydney aboard Perth horse Come Play With Me who races in the same ownership. I can’t quite get my head around it but I rarely let a jockey determine what horse I am going to back. Perhaps he won’t get the tempo he needs to win this race, but I still think he is probably the horse they all have to beat in his current form, and a decent drop in weight. Historically his lead up runs are an oddity though I have to admit. I doubt to o many horses have come directly into this race from the ones he has recently contested, which in effect might suggest the class rise is a big query. He did thrash Taxagano last start though (with 3kg more) who has since come out and won. That horse also has form around Cockney Crew who in turn has form around Regal Power at level weights. To me that suggests he is up to the task.
  8. VARIATION- He ran fourth in this race as a 3yo in 2017 and he probably should have won that day from memory (trapped wide). He has only had the six starts since, with none of them producing a win. He didn’t have the best of luck at Caulfield third up but wasn’t beaten far. Over a month between runs doesn’t seem ideal coming into this, but he has a good 4-5/10 record at this track, and the barrier looks perfect given his record from inside barrier 7 is quite poor. He is 3/6 beyond that marble. Dropping in weight doesn’t hurt either. Hard to knock him except to say he hasn’t won since July 2017 and maybe you’d want to see him do it first.
  9. MIZLECKI– She is a definite favourite of mine and It’s not that hard to make a case for her given this seems a more suitable race than she has contested of late.  weight wise she is 0/11 carrying 56kg or more. With 55kg or less she is 6/11 and she drops to 53kg for this race. She very capable on her day (thrashed Variation last preparation) with a good turn of foot. All bar one of her wins from inside barriers and she has drawn inside again here. Jerry Noske is an interesting choice of jockey but she has ridden her to two wins. The tempo of the race won’t bother her as she is capable of racing forward of midfield. Whether she is in the right sort of form to win is debatable but how might the weight drop bring out her best form? What I can say is the $31 about her is definitely overs, and I’m considering her as a realistic winning prospect.
  10. PERFECT JEWEL– The second of the Bob Peters runners and she is another not to have won for two years. She ran okay in the Asian Beau in preparation, but was no match at all for the winner Samizdat who she does admittedly meet 3kg better off at the weights in this. She also meets Getting 4kg better for defeat in this race last year when she was quite unlucky. The weight drop to 53kg looks a bonus too as most of her better efforts have been with lower weights. She might also get better with age as is the case with her half brother Star Exhibit. She has drawn a good enough barrier and gun female apprentice Jade McNaught might bring out the best in her. Jade has been riding Cockney Crew and Mizlecki of late but perhaps succumbed to the offer from the biggest stable in the state. She might not have expected CC to run in this race either. This mare can win at her best but we haven’t really seen her go close to winning for quite a while which is a concern
  11. Manolo Blahniq– Scratched
  12. REGAL POWER– Was soundly beaten by Samizdat in the Asian Beau last start but he does meet that horse 3kg better, and the Blinkers go on for this. Interestingly too that race was run over a second faster (with a faster last 600m) than his opponent here Platoon ran in a BM72+ race. That horse then went on to run second in the Group 3 RJ Peters last week. William Pike aboard is a big bonus but his barrier draw of 15 certainly isn’t. He will have to go back to last you would think unless a surprise tactic is in store. Being a an off speed 2400m WA Derby winner it’s hard to see him leading this G1 mile race so the task looks pretty tough for him and I’m just not sure the price is indicative of that at present. His half brother Action also won a WA Derby and struggled to be competitive at this trip thereafter.
  13. SAMIZDAT- The now in form 4yo looks the horse with the most upside in this race, and he won with authority in one of the main lead ups with the addition of Blinkers. The time was good, and although he hasn’t won at the distance it really does look like a formality given how he dominated last time. Oddly all bar one of his wins have been on rain affected tracks which is of some concern. Until last start there was a slight question mark over those he had beaten, but he did beat a mare called Essential Spice twice last preparation (once with 60kg), and that mare then went on to win three in a row by either a big margin and/or running a slick time. Brad Parnham rode him last start but now partners Variation. Jarrad Noske returns aboard though and he had been his regular jockey. The barrier probably doesn’t hurt (especially historically), but his racing pattern might. He might need a fast tempo up front to bring him into the race but having said that he has won a race or two when the pace up front hasn’t really suited him. It’s noticeable also that he has drawn a lot of outside barriers and has had to go back on a few occasions, with his last start being a prime example. It would be wise to make use of a good barrier and light weight, and not die wondering at what might have been. He has raced near the pace on one occasion, when beaten a length and a half over 1100m.
  14. COCKNEY CREW– He looks the leader in the race if he can get over from the outside barrier, and he looks massive overs if you draw a line through Regal Power who just prevailed against him in the WA Derby. This horse obviously flies fresh because he won by over 8 lengths returning from a spell off that run, and he did it in slick (comparative) time. Since then he has run second by a small margin and then won by a small margin, with a big weight of 58kg each time. He drops 5kg into this but he has had a minor injury to contend with (bruised hoof). How that impacts om him for this I’m not quite sure but ironically the break between runs is probably what appears to give him his best chance. Barrier 16 is historically a no go zone but can he negate that with his racing pattern given the scarcity of pace in the race? I’m just not sure now watching some of his replays. He isn’t a brilliant beginner and that is a concern, but having said the he will muster pace and should make a bid for the lead. There does also seem to be some doubt about him taking his place in the field, but if he does, he looks a realistic hope at a distance which might be his best.
  15. PLATOON– He missed the start last week in the RJ Peters which made it very hard to prevail at the end and he was eventually outclassed by the winner Mississipi Delta who doesn’t run in this race. Prior to that he had put two wins together but his time two back pales in comparison to Samizdat on the same day. He seems to have been a run below the best of his age all along and he gets no weight advantage against a few of them here. The barrier does him no favours either.
  16. TAMASA- Was heavily backed last week in the RJ Peters off a longer than ideal break (I was on),  and he raced like he needed the run. He didn’t settle well enough early, but was talented enough to look the winner at the 300m, only to tire and be comfortably beaten in the end. He just hasn’t quite produced his best in Perth yet, or maybe his form was a little overrated early on in Victoria? He is capable of springing a surprise here from the inside barrier if everything falls into place, and his manners are perfect. He has a very good trainer, but you also have to factor in how he might back up. Just not sure on that score, and he might be outclassed anyway. I backed him @ $67 for this race last week before he ran and it’s just a bonus for me that he has made the field in reality. That I didn’t expect!

Summary;

This is a very open race with the market displaying $6 the field, and it should probably be at least $7 the field. How do you separated them?

I’ll start by saying that MIZLECKI looks the best value runner in the field. The mare should get an ideal run in behind the pace and looks suited by getting down in the weights. She didn’t finish first four last start but was only 1.5 Lengths away.

Overall If I had to stick my neck out I’d go with SAMIZDAT on top with the assumption that he can race handy enough, and maybe get a run on the inside or through the middle in the straight. The fact the Blinkers went on last start signals an intention to me that they want him to race a bit handier.  He looks the one with the most upside and I think his overall form is better than it looks, as are his times. Of the Perth gallopers I think he is the one along with TELLEM WE’RE COMIN who looks well weighted on his current form, being a year older than Samizdat. Had Pike been riding I’d probably have him on top, which is not disparaging his replacement. He is a horse that has quirks and Pike had found the key to him. All Brenton Avdulla needs to do is watch the video of Galaxy Star winning this race last year under the guidance of Pike. It’s quite similar to the way Pike  has been riding this horse of late and would be the ideal scenario this Saturday. This race might not have as much speed as last year’s edition though. The Velvet King has to be included as a major hope as he is the most ‘on pace’ runner left in the field, and he has never carried this low a weight before. Maybe we can also take note of the handicapper ratings here too which suggest he should be giving the other horses on the minimum weight (53kg) 1.5kg.

There are many other chances in the race of course. It’s so hard to leave out the likes of Gatting, Star Exhibit, Reykjavik, and Perfect Jewel to name a few, and luck might play a major part in the outcome. I would find it hard to talk anybody out of backing anything in the race really, but this is my Top 4;

  1. SAMIZDAT
  2. Mizlecki
  3. Tellem We’re Comin.
  4. The Velvet King.

 

 

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