Ace Perth hoop Paul Harvey will on Saturday chase his record fourth Railway Stakes victory at Ascot Racecourse when he jumps aboard 2012 winner of the classic Mr Moet.
Harvey wasn’t aboard Adam Durrant’s now seven-year-old son of Mosayter when Mr Moet won the 2012 edition of the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) but does boast three previous victories.
His Railway wins were on Willoughby (1998), Old Comrade (2001) and most recently Modem a decade ago in 2004.
A win this year will see the recently inducted The West Australian Racing Industry Hall of Famer equal the record of four Railway Stakes winning rides set by the iconic Frank Treen.
The opening elite level of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival along with the $750,000 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m), also running on Super Saturday, the Railway Stakes is shaping up as a crack edition in 2014.
Race favourite at Ladbrokes is Mick Burles’s Tasmanian visitor The Cleaner, who arrived in Perth on Friday and is stabled with local trainer Fred Kersley, paying around $3.80.
Mr Moet, who hasn’t raced since December last year, meanwhile is at a quote of $21 in a likely field made up of capacity 19 hopefuls with the official acceptances out this afternoon.
The horse’s latest win was in the 2012 Group 2 CB Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot following his Railway Stakes success and second to Luckygray in that year’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
The veteran hasn’t raced since a sixth behind Ihtsahymn in last year’s CB Cox Stakes back on December 21 but has had two Lark Hill trials leading up to his return.
William Pike guided him to a third in the first on October 6 over 1450m, where he was trapped three wide throughout.
Then on November 3 Daniel Staeck took over for another hit-out over that distance where Mr Moet settled at the back of the field early in a long sustained run from the 800m, off which he kept finding in the straight before diving and just missing out when second past the post.
He won the Railway in 2012 off a spell and will do so again on the weekend, this time with champion jockey Harvey in the saddle for the first time.
Durrant secured Harvey for the ride and has put Peter Hall aboard his other Railway hope this year, Ranger.
In other Railway Stakes news Sydney’s Chris Waller is likely to bypass the race with Moriarty who will trial Monday week instead before tackling the $500,000 Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) back at Ascot on December 6.
Also out are the likes of Black Heart Bart, fourth to Bass Strait in the Group 3 RJ Peters Stakes (1500m) over the weekend, Durrant’s class mare Real Love who look to be balloted out of contention.
Despite running second to Bass Strait in the RJ Peters Stakes, Respondent meanwhile is likely to sneak into the Railway Stakes field according to Racing and Wagering WA (RWWA) chief handicapper David Hunter.
“Respondent is likely to jump two ratings points to 90,” he said of the WATC Derby winner.
“I think in all likelihood that the horse will get into the field.”