Top local jockey Peter Hall is sending out a good pointer for comeback galloper Chester Road after putting himself on a strict diet to ride his allocated weight in the Group 1 $1m Carlton Draught-Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Hall has been riding comfortably at 55kgs of late but was willing to diet hard and get down to 53kgs to ride the Adam Durrant trained Chester Road at his correct weight.
Hall must have a high opinion of the seven year old who will be tackling the tough 1600m of the Group 1 Handicap first up after not being to the races for two years.
“Every now and again I have a crack at it,” Hall told the West Australian.
“I feel I am ready to really hit my straps.
“I have been riding at 55kg and feeling really good. It is just the one race, it’s a big day.
“I am riding for the leading stable so I have to have a go.
“I’ll be pretty well sweet after the races at Northam.”
Chester Road, who has had two recent barrier trials at Lark Hill, hasn’t raced since he finished second to stablemate Mr Moet in the 2012 Group 2 $225,000 LD Total – C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot and is marked as $34 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Durrant will also saddle up Group 1 winner Mr Moet, a $14 chance, as well as eight year old Ranger, one of the outsiders of the field at $34.
Mr Moet with Paul Harvey to ride, is also resuming from a long lay off and hasn’t been to the races since finishing sixth in the 2013 C.B. Cox Stakes last December.
Durrant is no stranger to preparing horses to win first up from a lengthy spell after Mr Moet took out the 2012 Railway Stakes at his first run for six months.
Tassie champ The Cleaner remains the $4.60 favourite and Longford trainer Mick Burles is happy with his condition since he arrived in Perth.
Berles let The Cleaner work two laps of the Ascot track on Tuesday morning and is hoping that will top him off nicely for Saturday.
“He’s put on a couple of kilos so hopefully I’ve pulled them off this morning,” Burles said after The Cleaner worked at ‘The Breakfast With The Stars’ trackwork session.
“He hadn’t done much last week and I wanted him to have a pretty good hit-out.
“It’ll clean him up real quick.”
On the second line of betting at $6 is the Grant Williams trained Respondent with stablemate Elite Belle the only other runner under double figures at $9.