Trainer Adam Durrant believes that Chester Road is worthy of a place in the 2014 Railway Stakes field despite not being seen at the races since he finished second behind Mr Moet in the 2012 edition of the Group 2 Cox Stakes (2100m).
Chester Road was ruled out of racing for two years due to tendon problems, but he indicated to Durrant that he was ready for a return to racing when he finished ninth in a barrier trial over 950 metres at Lark Hill on October 6 and a close third in a barrier trial over 1450 metres at the same venue on November 3.
Durrant said that he is happy with the fitness levels of Chester Road heading into the Railway Stakes at Ascot on Saturday and he is confident that the Tiger Hill gelding will be competitive, but admits that the seven-year-old may be better suited in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m), Group 2 Cox Stakes (2100m) and Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m).
“His fitness is excellent and he deserves his spot in the race,” Durrant told TAB Radio.
“His leg is great, his work has been great and his trial was great.
“He will progress to the Kingston Town Classic (1800m), the Cox Stakes (2100m) and the Perth Cup (2400m).
“It might not be his day on Saturday, but he will beating home more than who beat him.
”I wouldn’t run him if I thought he wouldn’t be competitive.”
Chester Road made his racing debut at Bunbury in March of 2011 and worked his way through the grades over the next couple of years before he made his debut at Group level with a close second behind Mr Moet in the Group 3 Strickland Stakes (2000m) at Belmont Park in July of 2012.
The talented gelding scored his maiden black type racing debut when he recorded an impressive two and a half lengths win in the Listed Carbine Club Of Western Australian Stakes before he made his Group 1 debut with a close eighth in the Kingston Town Classic, but was forced out of racing for a couple of years following his second place finish in the Cox Stakes.
Chester Road opened at 2014 Railway Stakes odds of $51, but has been a clear market mover in betting markets for the Group 1 event and is now into a quote of $31 to record a maiden win at the highest level of racing.