Leading Australian Handicapper Adam Blencowe believes that classy mare Longport is the horse to beat in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Longport was competitive at the highest level of racing during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival, finishing second behind Norzita in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m), and returned to her best form with a strong win in the Emirates Airline Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Blencowe told RSN that Longport’s performance in her final lead-up run to the $1 million Group 1 event was one of the best of her career and based on both rating figures and profile is his 2013 Railway Stakes tip.
“We are pretty keen on Longport here,” Blencowe said.
“She profiles as the likely winner; she won pretty well at Flemington there on the last day and I think on that form she is pretty well placed here.
“Four-year-olds have a really good record in this and on profiles and on numbers she is the one to be with.
“I don’t think that $6.50 is unfair at all.”
Smokin’ Joey has been a clear favourite in 2013 Railway Stakes betting markets since the barrier draw was conducted earlier in the week but Blencowe is happy to risk the rejuvenated galloper and argues that Longport’s performance in the Emirates Airline Handicap was superior to that of Smokin’ Joey’s in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
“Obviously Smokin’ Joey’s Emirates run standouts but he would have to go just as well to be beating her if she runs right up to form,” Blencowe said.
“We have her running at 113 in that run at Flemington and that is what she was running around Norzita last year so she is going as well as ever.”
The Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) is the other feature race at Ascot on Saturday and Blencowe agrees with the popular sentiment that Buffering is the horse to beat after he won the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1600m) during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
Buffering is a clear favourite in 2013 Winterbottom Stakes betting markets, with Barakey on the second line of betting at $4.40 and Blencowe believes that Barakey is at far too short of a quote; rating Moment Of Change as the major danger to his Winterbottom Stakes tip.
“I think Barakey is a little bit close to Buffering in the market here,” Blencowe said.
“I thought that Buffering stamped himself as the best sprinter in the division in Australia.
“Barakey won in his return and he has only been beaten once, so you have to respect that fact, but we have him sixteen pounds short of what Buffering did at Flemington.
“Buffering would have to be off his game to be turned over by Barakey.
“I think that Moment Of Change is the one more likely to give him plenty to do but in saying that Buffering has him covered I think.”
Longport is currently available at Railway Stakes odds of $6, while Buffering has been backed into a quote of $2.20.