This year’s Group 1 $1m Carlton Draught – Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday is shaping up as a re-run of the 2012 version.
Last year’s quinella Mr Moet and Luckgray are lining up again in a capacity field of sixteen which is also loaded up with several top fancies from the eastern stables.
Mr Moet had the better of Luckygray twelve months ago but then the placings were reversed at their next start in the Group 1 $500,000 TAB Touch.Mobi – Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot two weeks later.
Luckygray has only recently returned to Perth after an unsuccessful Melbourne Spring Carnival campaign under the care of Caulfield trainer Robert Smerdon.
But Perth’s favourite galloper showed his liking for his home track with an improved fourth in the Group 2 $250,000 Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on November 9 after running sixteenth to Solzhenitsyn in the Group 1 $400,000 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12.
Mr Moet has also returned from a Melbourne Spring campaign and wasn’t far off the mark with a one and a half length fourth to Side Glance in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 2.
Recent Flemington winners Smokin’ Joey and Plucky Belle will take their place in the Railway Stakes field after comnections decided to pay the $22,000 late entry while Queensland trainer Danny Bougoure is keen to give new stable acquisition Longport her chance at Group 1 glory after winning at Flemington on the final day of Melbourne Cup week.
Rejuvenated galloper Smokin’ Joey convinced connection to travel to Perth after running second to Boban in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 9 a week after winning the Group 3 $200,000 TAB.com.au Stakes (1400m) the previous week.
While the Peter Moody trained Plucky Belle earned her place on the plane with a win in the Group 3 $200,000 Lavazza Short Black (1400m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
“We weren’t sure that we would go from Sydney to Melbourne and then over to Perth. But when she won at Flemington and pulled up well we were happy to do it,” Moody said.
And Bougoure is certain that Longport is up to the class after winning over 1400m at Flemington at her first run for the stable.
“She has to be a very good chance. I had a look at her on (Friday) and she looks fantastic,” Bougoure said.
“She has just thrived in Melbourne with a bit of cooler weather.
“It’s worth $1 million and it would be nice to get the biscuits.”
And leading Queensland trainer Robert Heathcote will give Fire Up Fifi another chance in a Group 1 after the grey mare ran third to Red Tracer in the Group 1 $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on November 2.