The Dan Morton trained Hazzabeel steamed into calculations for the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium-Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot next Saturday after qualifying with a win at Ascot last weekend.
Hazzabeel was able to win the Group 3 $150,000 David Grays Aglink-R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m) at Ascot on Saturday and became exempt from the ballot for the Railway Stakes.
Hazzabeel was able to lead all of the way for Lucy Warwick, giving the former top apprentice her biggest success and first win at Group level.
The Zabeel five year old was having his fourth start this campaign and Morton has him peaking at the right time to tackle Group 1 company in the Railway Stakes next weekend.
“I think he is a legitimate chance and is peaking at the right time,” Morton said.
“He has taken a few runs to come to his top.”
But Morton will have to look for a new rider for Hazzabeel with Warwick already committed to ride her father’s horse Wink And A Nod in the Railway Stakes.
Hazzabeel started to showed glimpses of some good form two starts back when third to Real Love in the Group 3 $150,000 Seacorp Starlight-Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on October 31.
While Warwick has ridden Hazzabeel at his last two starts, she has also been the regular rider for Wink And A Nod who finished second two starts to Railway Stakes top weight Black Heart Bart in the Group 3 $150,000 Northerly Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on October 21 followed by a fourth to the same horse in the Group 2 $250,000 Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on November 7.
Hazzabeel’s win in the R.J. Peters Stakes has seen him promoted up the Railway Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au to be an $8 chance while Wink And A Nod remains at $15.
The Vaughn Sigley trained Black Heart Bart and Adam Durrant’s Real Love are joint favourites at $4.20 ahead of Delicacy at $4.80 and the Chris Waller trained Good Project also marked at $8 while recent Melbourne Spring Carnival winner Disposition is marked at $11.