Topweight Black Heart Bart will be chasing his fourth straight Spring Carnival win when he leads the field out for the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium-Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday.
The Vaughn Sigley trained Black Heart Bart heads the final field of fifteen which includes the Eastern state gallopers Messene, Good Project and Mr Utopia.
The barrier draw for the Railway Stakes will be conducted at the Breakfast With The Stars at Ascot on Tuesday morning, commencing at 6am.
Black Heart Bart is racing in outstanding form with three wins from three Spring Carnival starts with Saturday’s rider Glenn Smith in the saddle.
The Blackfriars five year old kicked off this campaign with a win in the Listed $100,000 Birthday Stakes (1200m) at Belmont on October 3 followed by a win over Railway Stakes rival Wink And A Nod in the Group 3 $150,000 Northerly Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on October 21.
Black Heart Bart then went back to Ascot to beat local stars Magnifisio and Delicacy in the Group 2 $250,000 Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) on November 7.
The Team Hawkes trained Messene’s best recent run was three starts back when third to Vashka in the Group 2 $175,000 Leonay Plumbing Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on September 26 while Good Project is stepping up sharply in class after running second in a 1400m BenchMark 90 Handicap at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
Top Queensland rider Damian Browne has been booked to ride Messene, Craig Williams will be aboard Good Project and local hoop Shaun McGruddy rides Mr Utopia.
Leading Perth trainer Adam Durrant will saddle three runners in the Railway Stakes, Real Love, Special Delivery and Tower Of Lonhro.
Real Love is the most fancied of Durrant’s trio after scoring first up in the Group 3 $150,000 Seacorp Starlight-Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on October 31 and her chances can only be boosted with the booking of champion Melbourne rider Damien Oliver.
Damian Lane has picked up the ride on Hazzabeel who burst into Railway Stakes contention with a last start win over Railway Stakes rivals Battle Hero and Tower Of Lonhro in the Group 3 $150,000 David Grays Aglink-R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m) at Ascot last Saturday.
R.J. Peters winning jockey Lucy Warwick had to stick with her father’s horse Wink And A Nod opening up the the opportunity for Lane to snap up the ride on Hazzabeel.
Last season’s glamour three year old filly Delicacy with William Pike in the saddle will go into the Railway Stakes with only one run under her belt following a third to Black Heart Bart in the Lee Steere Stakes.
Railway Stakes final field: 1 Black Heart Bart 58kg, 2 Messene 56.5kg, 3 Delicacy 54kg, 4 Fuchsia Bandana 54kg, 5 Real Love 54kg, 6 Wink And A Nod 54kg, 7 Balmont Girl 53kg, 8 Bass Strait 53kg, 9 Battle Hero 53kg, 10 Good Project 53kg, 11 Hazzabeel 53kg, 12 Mr Utopia 53kg, 13 My Sister Lil 53kg, 14 Special Delivery 53kg, 15 Tower Of Lonhro 53kg.