Confidence is rising among the connections of Perth star Scales Of Justice in the countdown to the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Scales Of Justice came up with gate thirteen in the original barrier draw for the Railway Stakes but could jump from ten if all of the emergencies fail to gain a start when the final field is reduced to the sixteen horse limit on race day.
Managing part owner Chris Wells is not concerned about the double digit barrier and is getting excited as Scales Of Justice is getting closer to defending his Railway Stakes crown.
The Lindsey Smith trained five year old will have to carry the second top weight of 57.5kg, up 4.5kg on last year’s winning weight, and has Hong Kong’s thirteen times premiership winning jockey Douglas Whyte back in the saddle again.
“I’ve got great faith in the horse,” Wells told The West Austalian.
“If he’s right he’ll go very well.
“I think Lindsey’s a bit apprehensive, but as time goes on we get more confident. The weight (57.5kg) is not a problem. It’s whether he’s 100 per cent.”
Whyte steered Scales Of Justice to victory in the 2016 Railway Stakes but then fell foul of the stewards two weeks later and was given a one month’s suspension for failing to ride the gelding right out to the line when a nose second to Stratum Star in the Group 1 $1m Peters Investments-Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot.
Smith took Scales Of Justice to Melbourne for the Spring Carnival which resulted with a first up second to Redkirk Warrior in the Group 2 $200,000 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) down the Flemington straight on September 16 but then returned home to Perth after finishing seventh to Santa Anna Lane in the Group 1 $500,000 Keno Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 1.
Scales Of Justice has had one run back since returning to the West for a third to Railway Stakes rivals Silverstream in the Group 2 $250,000 WAROA-Lee Steere Stakes (1400km) at Ascot on November 11.
Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have Scales Of Justice as the $5.50 favourite for the Railway Stakes just ahead of Black Heart Bart at $6 and Tom Melbourne at $6.50.
The Darren Weir trained Black Heart Bart drew barrier eight in the original draw with regular rider Brad Rawllier in the saddle again while Tom Melbourne, from the powerful Chris Waller stable, will jump from the pole position with Damien Oliver taking over the reins from Glen Boss.