Perth’s Summer Racing Carnival shifts into gear on Saturday with the running of the Group 1 Railway Stakes over the mile.
The talented team of Grant and Alana Williams are shooting for a hat-trick after winning the last two editions, and it appears they have a very realistic chance of adding a third with William Pike saddling the early favourite, Inspirational Girl.
Not surprisingly, the $1 million prize-money has attracted a capacity field of 16, and you can find out thoughts on each and every runner in our 2020 Railway Stakes Preview below!
Kementari will make his second appearance at Ascot on Saturday after running on for third in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) behind Kay Cee a fortnight ago.
It’s been a while in between drinks since the Godolphin galloper last won the Group 1 Randwick Guineas over the mile back in 2018, but he has turned in three consistent efforts this time in work.
The son of Lonhro wasn’t disgraced when fifth two starts back in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes and judging by the way he finished off his last start, he should appreciate the step up to the mile.
Kementari gets the tongue tie back on again and rates as one of the main dangers.
Material Man is resuming from a three-month spell hoping to extend his winning streak to three after claiming the Group 3 Strickland Stakes and the Swan River Vase at Belmont during the winter.
Justin Warwick’s nine-year-old is still searching for that illustrious Group 1, but he does look a good chance at breaking through with three wins on the board first up.
Material Man has run no worse than fifth in two previous attempts at the Railway, and based on the way he trialed last week, he appears in tip-top shape ahead of his return to the races.
Gailo Chop is returning from a freshen-up after finishing second-last in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) last month.
The old boy hasn’t tasted a win since he took out the 2018 edition of the Ranvet at Rosehill, but with three wins to his name over the mile and an impressive trial leading in, a place certainly would not surprise.
Kay Cee unleashed with a massive run out wide to win the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) second-up ahead of Red Can Man and Kementari a fortnight ago.
The mare by Playing God showed a real turn of foot over the final 100m and there is plenty to suggest she’ll handle the step up to the mile just fine on Saturday.
Aside from a disappointing run first-up in the Northerly, Neville Parnham’s five-year-old has been a consistent performer dating all the way back to her win in the Group 1 Kingston Town Stakes last year.
She’s an absolute machine at Ascot and appears the early value bet in Railway Stakes betting carrying only 56kg.
Spiritual Warrior won the Autumn Cup, the Pinjarra Cup and the WA Cup last time in work but is likely to find this much tougher returning from a spell.
Justin Warwick’s six-year-old has never raced at Group 1 level before and warrants further consideration when he gets out beyond the mile.
Taxagano won the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m) first-up at Ascot but has struggled to go on with it since.
The seven-year-old was no match for Inspirational Girl two runs back in the Asian Beau, while his latest effort in the Lee Steere Stakes left a lot to be desired finishing seventh.
Both runs suggest he’s crying out for the mile where he’s won twice previously and he may be one of the improvers with some weight off his back.
Great Shot hasn’t found the winner’s circle since he won this race back in 2017 ahead of Black Heart Bart and Tom Melbourne.
The son of Magnus was a non-factor second-up in the Lee Steere Stakes and won’t find this any easier.
Red Can Man
Red Can Man has finished strongly on both occasions leading into his first Group 1 assignment on Saturday.
Steve Wolfe’s galloper put in an eye-catching effort for third two runs back in the Asian Beau and then went one better finishing runner-up to Kay Cee in the Lee Steere Stakes.
The five-year-old is set to peak with race fitness on his side and the mile should see him out beautifully.
Cup Night has been freshened between runs after finding the line for sixth in the Asian Beau last month.
The son of Maschino put in a huge effort for second first-up in the Listed Black Heart Stakes at Belmont and is expected to take improvement into this race following Monday’s trial at Lark Hill.
He rarely runs a bad race at Ascot but does look a slight query in what will be just his second start over the mile.
Dance Music won the Listed Northam Cup over the mile last month beating home Flow by a comfortable three lengths.
Simon Miller’s four-year-old mare has since had a trial in between runs but would need to go to another level to win a race of this quality.
Inspirational Girl has been all class since she debuted last year and is now shooting for a hat-trick after winning the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) last month.
Trainers Grant and Alana Williams have an outstanding record in this race having won the last two editions with Galaxy Star and Regal Power, and they appear to have a great opportunity to add a third with this talented mare.
The five-year-old has won eight of her ten career starts to date and will have the added luxury of William Pike on board, who is also shooting for a Railway Stakes hat-trick.
Missile Launch won the Listed Kalgoorlie Cup (2200m) two runs back before finding the placings for third last start in the Northam Cup over the mile.
The son of Smart Missile is yet to run a bad race this prep, however this does look a big ask for him up in class.
Platoon returns for a second crack at the Railway after giving a good sight last year running third behind Best Of Days and Regal Power.
Neville Parnham’s five-year-old returned to the races in great order for second in the Northerly Stakes before finding the 1400m a little too short second-up when sixth in the Lee Steere Stakes.
The mile looks a great option for him now and the fact Brad Parnham has dropped 6kg’s off his last start can only be seen as a plus.
Too Close the Sun
Too Close the Sun is racing on the short backup after winning last week’s Listed Ascot Gold Cup (1800m) by an impressive four lengths on the heavy track.
Lindsey Smith’s five-year-old will likely roll forward again and prove extremely tough to run down carrying 4.5kg’s less under Joseph Azzopardi.
This is an obvious step up in class for the talented stayer, but five wins from nine starts this year suggests he’s more than up to winning a Group 1.
Truly Great is tough to fault after winning each of his last four starts in an absolute canter.
The son of Dundeel is also racing on the short backup after winning last week’s Group 3 R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m) and looks well-suited stepping back up to the mile.
Truly Great won over this trip first-up by 2.5 lengths and looks a live threat to win a Group 1 carrying only 53kg.
Uni Time has been thereabouts this prep running fifth in each of his last two starts in the Asian Beau and the Lee Steere Stakes.
He’s unproven over the mile though and would need to produce his best to beat home some of these.
Arctic Stream struggled to produce his best first-up in the Group 2 Lee Leere Stakes.
He’s been tested since rising to this level back in May and would need luck to go his way as the first emergency.
Media Baron is a two-time track and distance winner and remains the second emergency in the 2020 Railway Stakes.
Pym’s Royale found the money first-up in the Listed Hannans Handicap at Kalgoorlie and wasn’t far off when fifth over the mile in the Listed Northam Cup.
He remains the third emergency.
True Attraction has placed twice in three starts over the mile but would need plenty to fall his way as the fourth emergency.