Astute Kiwi trainer Roger James will satisfy at least two goals if plunge horse He’s Remarkable wins the $1m Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Backed from $15 to $7.50, He’s Remarkable would earn both a berth in Sydney’s 2012 Doncaster Hcp (1600m) and pick an initial Group 1.
He’s Remarkable is a four-year-old entire by Pentire from Axiom (by Zabeel) and a Group 1 would boost his chances as a stallion.
James, who has won 24 Group 1 races – four in Australia, brought He’s Remarkable to Perth after a splendid win and recovery from the $100,000 Visit Victoria Handicap (1600m) at Flemington on November 5.
“I threw in a nomination for this race (Railway) but quite honestly after he won at Flemington, I discounted it, thinking I would give him a specialist preparation for the Doncaster,” James said.
“I felt coming over here might interrupt that.
“However, I trotted him up the next morning and he just looked like he was on springs.
“In between times I realised the Doncaster was a little later than I thought.
“And the NSW handicapper told me with his present rating, he wouldn’t have got in last year’s Doncaster, so I took the more obvious thing to do.
“We can still get home a week after this run, have a month in the paddock and still have a four-month preparation for the Doncaster, so time-wise it works out well.
“I thought it was a very good performance at Flemington.
“In comparison with the Emirates Stakes (1600m on the same day), his sectionals fared well even though he carried 59 kilos and was held up.
“It’s obviously difficult to line up the form against the locals but, from my perspective, the horse has been here a week and is going very well.”
He’s Remarkable drew barrier one which hasn’t either perturbed or pleased James.
“I’m not too worried about it,” he said.
“The downside is if they stack them up (because) he would be better drawn out.
“The objective is to win Group 1s with him because he has a very tidy pedigree.
“His sire Pentire has been a great stallion, siring 1000m to 3200m winners and I don’t think he has any sons standing at stud in NZ.”
He’s Remarkable’s dam Axiom was unraced but her dam Arletty was a dual Group 2 winner of eight races including the Villiers Stakes and Queen of The Turf in Sydney.
Trainer Mark Webb is happy with Melbourne mare Avienus who drew 10.
She suffered from travel sickness on the flight to Perth after the plane was stranded on the tarmac in Melbourne for two hours but has recovered well.
“Normally she draws 18 so that draw is pretty good,” Webb said.
“I don’t know exactly what happened, but we were stuck there on the tarmac for hours.
“The vets here did a great job with her.
“As the week has gone on she has eaten and drunk better.
“She had a good gallop and she will have a kind few days now.”