The 2015 Railway Stakes barrier draw has been conducted and Delicacy, Black Heart Bart and Real Love are all set to jump from the second half of the field in the Group 1 event at Ascot tomorrow.
Delicacy was on top of Railway Stakes betting markets following the barrier draw, but her odds are sure to lengthen after she was allocated barrier 15.
Barrier 15 has not produced a winner of the Railway Stakes in the past 30 years and jockey William Pike will be forced to make an early decision whether to push forward on the star mare in the early stages of the race.
Black Heart Bart is another horse that will likely need some luck in the early stages of the race after connections drew barrier 11 – a gate that has not housed the winner since equine superstar Better Loosen Up took out the 1989 edition of the race.
Real Love was on the second line of Railway Stakes betting before the barrier draw, but she is another horse whose odds could lengthen after being allocated barrier 13.
Aiding Real Love’s cause from the wide gate will be star hoop Damien Oliver, who is set to return to Perth this week to partner the Perth Cup winner in the Group 1 event.
Chris Waller-trained Good Project is also set to jump from the outside of the Railway Stakes field, but barrier 12 has housed more Railway Stakes winners in the past 30 years than any other barrier.
Justin Warwick-trained Wink And A Nod (barrier ten) and Hazzabeel (barrier 14) will also jump from the second half of the Railway Stakes field.
Six of the past 30 winners of the Railway Stakes have jumped from barrier 12 and in the past 6 six years the likes of Sniper’s Bullet (2009), Luckygray (2011 and 2013) and Elite Belle (2014) have all jumped from the gate.
The big winner of the 2015 Railway Stakes barrier draw was Team Hawkes-trained Messene, who will have the opportunity to settle right on the pace after being allocated barrier two.
Messene has not recorded a win since he took out the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but he showed signs of life when he finished third in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 22, third in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 26 and fourth in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 3.
Other big winners from the Railway Stakes barrier draw include Balmont Girl (barrier three), Bass Strait (barrier eight), Battle Hero (barrier six), Mr Utopia (barrier seven), My Sister Lil (barrier five) and Special Delivery (barrier four).