Leading Western Australian horses Luckygray and Mr Moet have been allocated the top weight of 58kg for the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) that will be run at Ascot on Saturday November 23.
Luckygray (2011) and Mr Moet (2012) have won the past two editions of the Railway Stakes but recent history will be against them in the 2013 edition of the race; with no horse carrying more than 56.5 kilos to victory in the past thirty years.
Mr Moet will be returning to Perth after a consistent 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in which he just failed to step up to the class required to be successful at the highest level of racing in Melbourne.
The Mosayter gelding started his campaign with unlucky runs in both the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) before failing to fire in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
He produced one of the best runs of his career to finish sixth in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), just two and a half lengths behind the winner Fawkner, and was once again competitive when he finished fourth behind Side Glance in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
The 2013 Melbourne Cup was on the agenda for Mr Moet but trainer Adam Durrant decided not to run the six-year-old in ‘the race that stops a nation’; with the leading Perth trainer electing to give his star galloper the opportunity to become the horse to win the Railway Stakes in back-to-back years since Tudor Mak in 1969.
Luckygray failed to fire during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, finishing outside the placings in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m), Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m), and returned to Perth on Saturday with a fourth place finish in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at Ascot.
Lee Steere Stakes winner Conservatorium and Emirates Stakes runner-up Smokin’ Joey have both been allocated 56kg; with Smokin’ Joey’s trainer Wez Hunter confirming yesterday that his in-form charge would make the trip to Perth.
Smokin’ Joey made his debut under the care of Hunter with a most impressive victory in the Group 3 Tab.Com.Au Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day and flew home late to finish second behind Boban in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) last Saturday.
Other interesting 2013 Railway Stakes weights include Robert Heathcote-trained Fire Up Fifi (54kg), last-start winner Longport (53.5kg), imported galloper Mutual Trust (54kg) as well as locally-trained hopefuls Grand Nirvana (55kg), Platinum Rocker (53kg) and Pop Culture (53kg).