Albany trainer Steve Wolfe is not bothered about a seven day back up for Mr Utopia when he lines up in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium-Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Mr Utopia begin his career under the care of Wolfe in Western Australia but was transferred to Caulfield trainer Robert Smerdon for a Melbourne Winter and Spring Carnival campaign.
The six year old had his last run for the Smerdon stable last Saturday when sixth to Charmed Harmony in the Group 3 $150,000 Sandown Stakes (1500m) at Sandown before he was sent back to Wolfe in Albany.
Wolfe said that the tough gelding would handle the trip back to Western Australia okay and he is giving him an outside chance of causing as upset in the Railway Stakes.
“I don’t think that is a real concern, it’s not perfect and it would have been nice to have two weeks,” Wolfe told Perth Racing News.
“He’s used to travelling, he’s travelled from Albany all his life.”
“If he could be running seventh or eighth we would be very happy,” Wolfe said.
Shaun McGruddy was Mr Utopia’s regular rider in Perth before he headed off to the Eastern States and will be re-united with the six year old on Saturday.
Wolfe can see McGruddy positioning Mr Utopia midfield from barrier six and hopefully giving him a cosy run before producing his final burst to the line.
“The best part of him is that he has good closing speed,” Wolfe said.
“His form over there in the winter was excellent and his form here last year was pretty good, he almost beat Balmont Girl.
“So he’s not out of the race, he’s probably in the top half I think.”
If you are having a bet at Ascot on Super Saturday, take advantage of Ladbrokes’ Special Railway Stakes Offer. Ladbrokes.com.au are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the Railway Stakes at Ascot this Saturday, which means you can win an additional 20% on your winnings up to a maximum bet of $50.
In early betting for the Railway Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au Mr Utopia has been listed as one of the outsiders of the field at $26.
Local glamour mare Delicacy heads the market order at $4.20 ahead of Real Love at $4.80 and top weight Black Heart Bart at $5.
Railway Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.20 Delicacy, $4.80 Real Love, $5 Black Heart Bart, $7.50 Good Project, $10 Hazzabeel, $12 Messene, $17 Wink And A Nod, $21 Balmont Girl, $26 Battle Hero, Mr Utopia, Tower Of Lonhro, $41 Special Delivery, $41 My Sister Lil, $81 Bass Strait.