The Railway Stakes is the first Group 1 event of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival and, as always, it is a fascinating betting race.
Local galloper Galaxy Star is set to start the race as favourite, but Darren Weir has sent Peaceful State and Iconoclasm to Perth for the race and both go into the contest as genuine winning chances.
We have analysed all 15 horses in the field and our complete 2018 Railway Stakes tips can be found below.
Trainer Justin Warwick is trying to pull-off a masterstroke with Material Man. Material Man will go into the Railway Stakes first-up, but with three recent barrier trial wins under his belt. There is no doubt that he will be better over further and the Kingston Town Classic does look like the race for him, but he has sprinted well in the past and his record over 1600 metres is excellent. Top-weights don’t have a great record in the Railway Stakes, but he is still a genuine winning chance and the $14 currently available is over the odds.
Great Shot has the chance to become the first horse since Tudor Mak in 1967 to win the Railway Stakes in back-to-back years. The Magnus gelding has not won a race since his Railway Stakes triumph, but he has been thereabouts in the Birthday Stakes, Northerly Stakes and the Warora-Lee Steere Stakes. He would still need to improve on those efforts to be a genuine winning chance and history is against him.
Man Booker is a horse with an excellent winning record and he took out both the Farnley Stakes and the Northerly Stakes before he was beaten in the Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes last start. You can’t knock his record and he is clearly racing as well as ever, but I’m not sure that he has as much upside as some of the other horses in this field. He looks to have found his right mark at $14.
Gatting returned to the races with an upset victory in the Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes and he should only improve on that performance. That was easily his biggest win in sometime and there has to be a question mark over whether he can rate at that level once again. He does have upside and the mile suits, but he is another galloper that I am happy to be against at his current odds.
It has now been over two years since Prized Icon last won a race, the 2016 Victoria Derby, but he is still a consistent galloper that rarely produces a bad race. He finished second behind Cliff’s Edge in the Crystal Mile at The Valley on Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day and he was not disgraced behind Trap For Fools in the Mackinnon Stakes. It is tough to have faith in a horse that has gone so long between wins, but at $16 he is definitely a horse that needs to be included in exotics.
Mister Sea Wolf
Mister Sea Wolf showed plenty of promise when he first arrived in Australia and I’m not sure that he has lived up to his potential. He started his Spring campaign with a nice win in the Rowley Mile, but he never looked like a winning chance in either the Epsom Handicap or the Kennedy Mile. I think that he is below the level required to win a Group 1 in Australia.
Peaceful State is the most fancied of the Eastern State contenders and there is no doubt that he is one of the horses to beat. He didn’t win a race during the Spring and he was a touch disappointing in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and the Moonga Stakes, but he was excellent when third in the Kennedy Mile. You can never underestimate Darren Weir and he does look like the main danger to Galaxy Star.
Achernar Star doesn’t win out of turn, but he is a horse that has proven that he can run well at this level. He finished a gallant third in the Kingston Town Classic 12 months ago and he has improved each time that he has been seen at the races this campaign following his second place finish in the Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes. There was a lot to like about that run and he is ready to peak in the Railway Stakes. The $16 currently available is over the odds.
Action went into the R.J. Peters Stakes at Ascot on Saturday as a clear favourite and he flopped fairly badly. That is rarely a particularly strong form reference for the Railway Stakes and it is impossible to back him in this race off that effort.
Disposition looked like a star in the making as a three-year-old, but he has never really kicked on as an older horse. He has recorded only one win from his past 16 starts and he was beaten soundly in both the Northerly Stakes and the Asian Beau Stakes. He is one of the outsiders in this field for a reason.
Galaxy Star is a mare with a huge amount of upside and she has recorded nine wins from her 12 race starts. The Williams stable have been very patient with her and there is no doubt that the Railway Stakes has always been her long-term target. She lost no admirers when she finished second behind Man Booker in the Northerly Stakes and she was nothing short of dominant in the Asian Beau Stakes. The step-up to a mile is ideal for her and she is the horse that is weighted to win this contest. She can sit just behind the speed and finish over the top of her rivals late.
Iconoclasm is the second Darren Weir-trained horse in this field. He is another horse that has an excellent winning record and he made his Group 1 debut last start with an eighth place finish in the Kennedy Mile. There is no doubt that he still has plenty of upside, but he would still need to improve to be a genuine winning chance in the Railway Stakes. He is a winning chance, but I can’t get him as short as his current price.
Perfect Jewel won the Western Australian Guineas 12 months ago and wasn’t beaten far in the Kingston Town Classic, but she has been unable to replicate that sort of form this campaign. She failed to beat home a single runner in the Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes and you clearly couldn’t back her off that effort.
Star Exhibit has returned to the care of Adam Durrant after a stint in Melbourne with Darren Weir. Her two runs in the Northerly Stakes and the Warora-Lee Steere Stakes this time in have been poor. She is big odds for a reason.
Wrinkly was not disgraced in the R.J. Peters Stakes last weekend, but he has still never shown anything to suggest that he is capable of winning a race with the quality of the Railway Stakes.