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WA locals hold their own in Railway

5 min read

By Bren O'Brien

Despite a concerted challenge from the eastern seaboard, Western Australia horses have more than held their own when it comes to the Perth's premier handicap, the G1 Kirin Railway S. in recent years.

Six of the past seven winners of the race have been prepared in WA and in 2018 the Grant and Alana Williams' trained Galaxy Star (Redoute's Choice) is favoured to maintain local pride.

The lightly raced 6-year-old, a winner of nine of her 12 starts, is poised to give her owner/breeder Bob Peters just his third win in the race but may be forced to overcome traffic from barrier 2.

The likely tempo will see Galaxy Star settle back, along with one of her chief rivals, the Darren Weir-trained Peaceful State (Animal Kingdom {USA}).

Peaceful State was a last-start third in the G1 Cantala S. after getting strung up between runners and from barrier four, young jockey Ben Allen may encounter similar problems here.

His stablemate Iconoclasm (Toorak Toff), beaten home by Peaceful State last start, will likely settle closer to the speed but from a wide barrier will do well not to get trapped deep. The experience of Craig Williams should help him avoid trouble, but there is a doubt if he is up to Group 1 class.

Gatting (Hard Spun {USA}) caused a minor boilover when winning the G2 Lee Steere S. last start and can figure again given he is drawn the inside and should get the sit just behind the leaders.

Last year's upset winner Great Shot (Magnus) will no doubt set the speed again. He carries 2kg more than 2017 and was left in the wake of Gatting and Achernar Star (Gingerbread Man) last time. Achernar Star will also press forward from a wide barrier and on his best form, can not be discounted.

Kris Lees brings 2016 Victoria Derby winner Prized Icon (More Than Ready {USA}) across and while he wasn't far away in the G1 Mackinnon S. last time, he hasn’t won in over two years.

Strong support card

The Railway S. is one of six stakes races at Ascot on Saturday.

The G2 Sky Racing WA Guineas is the other main highlight, with Peters' filly Arcadia Queen (Pierro) favourite to hold out Weir's raider Junipal (Reset).

Arcadia Queen graduated to stakes-class last time when winning the G3 WA Champion Fillies S. and she looks to have plenty of improvement having won three of her four starts to date.

Junipal looked home to the world in an 1800m Listed race at Flemington last time, only to be nabbed right on the line, Dropping back 200m should suit him well, should he adjust to the trip west.

The Velvet King (Universal Ruler) won the Listed Fairetha S. with some authority last time but has a horror draw which makes it hard for him, while the consistent Lady Cosmology (Universal Ruler) will no doubt be setting the pace.

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott have brought over Ulusaba (Exceed and Excel) off a ratings class win at Randwick last start.

The Peters' show

The Listed Crown Perth Jungle Mist also features a Peters' bred horse at the top of the market, with Celebrity Dream (Thorn Park) is trained by Adam Durrant. Her main test will likely come from Pearl And Prawns (Super Easy {NZ}).

The cerise with white crossed sashes are also to the fore in the Listed Magic Millions Tattersalls Cup and the Listed Carbine Club of WA S.

Mississippi Delta (High Chaparral) holds favouritism over the in-form Prize Catch (Zoffany {Ire}) in the 2100m Tattersalls Cup, while State Solicitor (Nicconi) is top pick along with In Love With Paris (Rogano) in the Carbine Club.

Simon Miller's promising filly Dance Music (War Chant {USA}) is the measuring stick in the Listed TABTouch Placid Ark S.

Day out at Counties

The G2 Dunstan Feed Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' S. highlights a feature card at Counties Race Club at Pukekohe.

Volpe Veloce (Foxwedge) looks well-placed second-up as she plots her way back to the defence of her Sistema Railway S. title at Ellerslie on New Year's Day.

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Nicoletta (NZ) (Savabeel) is considered her main rival along with Sleeping Beauty (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {Ire}), who is eyeing a hat-trick of wins.

The G3 Ssangyong Counties Cup sees Mongolian Marshal (NZ) (High Chaparral {Ire}) favoured to back up his win at Ellerslie last start, with Five To Midnight (NZ) (Domesday) to provide the major competition.

Impressive debut winner Bavella (Snitzel) is odds-on to win the Listed Splice Construction S, while the Haunui Farm Counties Bowl sees the return of the promising Bostonian (NZ) (Jimmy Choux {NZ}), who was last seen winning the G3 Sunshine Coast Guineas back in June.

Doomben double features

There are two black-type races at Doomben as their summer carnival begins, with the listed Legacy Fillies and Mares Classic a battle between the resuming Plucky Girl (Pluck {USA}) a winner of five of her past seven starts, and Stella Victoria (Foxwedge), a winner of three of her past four.

The Listed Sky Racing Tattersalls Recognition S. is a quality handicap which sees the in-form Niccanova (Nicconi) looking to make it seven wins from 13 starts.

Cup day at Ballarat

Ballarat plays host to its Cup day, with the Listed Sportsbet Ballarat Cup expected to be dominated by Weir, who has the first three horses in the market, including Lucky For All (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}), who gets in on the minimum and looks to have substantial upside.

Ballarat also plays host to two special Magic Millions races, the Magic Millions Clockwise 2YO Classic and the Magic Millions 3 & 4YO Classic.