The in-form Smokin’ Joey has been the big winner at the 2013 Railway Stakes barrier draw; with the Wez Hunter-trained galloper drawing ideally in barrier seven.
Smokin’ Joey joined the stable of rising trainer Wez Hunter after finishing at the tail of the field in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) and his form turn around at his last two starts has been nothing short of remarkable.
The Encosta De Lago gelding stormed down the outside of the famous Flemington straight to record an impressive win in the Group 3 Tab.Com.Au Stakes (1400m) on Victoria Derby Day and followed that up a week later with a second place finish behind Boban in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
While Smokin’ Joey had all the luck at the 2013 Railway Stakes barrier draw, the same could not be said about locally-trained hope Mr Moet who drew barrier 20 and will jump from gate 16, at the very outside of the field, after the emergencies are removed.
Mr Moet will be returning to Ascot for the first time since his successful 2012 Perth Summer Racing Carnival, where he won the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Cox Stakes (2100m) and finished second in both the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) and the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m).
The son of Mosayter performed well during the 2013 Melbourne Festival Of Racing, finishing third in the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m), second in the Group 2 Peter Young (1800m) and an unlucky sixth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m), and was once again competitive at the highest level of racing during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
Mr Moet had no luck in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) or Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) but returned to his best form with a sixth place finish behind Fawkner in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and a solid fourth in the Group 1 MacKinnon Stakes (2000m).
Last year’s Railway Stakes winner Mr Moet will be joined in the field by 2011 winner Luckygray, who will also need plenty of lucky to record his second win in the Group 1 event after drawing barrier 17.
Luckygray failed to fire under the care of Robert Smerdon during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and is now being prepared by Perth trainer Trevor Andrews.
The son of Bradbury’s Luck struggled in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) but returned to a semblance of his best form when he finished fourth behind Conservatorium in the Group 2 Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at Ascot a fortnight ago.
The other leading Railway Stakes fancy that did not have much luck at the barrier draw was Robert Heathcote-trained Fire Up Fifi, who drew towards the outside of the field in gate 18.
Fire Up Fifi has raced well this campaign, winning the Group 2 Blazer Stakes (1410m) at Flemington and finishing an unlucky fifth in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m), but is still chasing her maiden win at Group 1 level after finishing third behind Red Tracer in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m).
Other key 2013 Railway Stakes barrier draws include Group 1 winner Playing God (barrier 13), the in-form Conservatorium (barrier 10), Asian Beau Stakes winner Platinum Rocker (barrier 19) and imported galloper Mutual Trust (barrier six).