Messene is currently available at 2015 Railway Stakes odds of $13, but co-trainer Wayne Hawkes believes that the talented galloper is in career best form ahead of the Group 1 event at Ascot on Saturday.
Messene started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a fifth place finish behind Burbero in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 8 and he has been an inconsistent performer during his campaign, but he produced strong efforts in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 22, the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 26 and the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 3 before he was caught in the worst part of the track in the Group 3 Guvera Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
Hawkes told Racing Ahead that he has been thrilled with the form of Messene this preparation and he is confident that the Lonhro gelding will relish getting back on a very firm track in the 2015 Railway Stakes.
“I have seen a couple of photos of him and he looks pretty schmick,” Hawkes said.
“When he ran on Derby Day the track was a bit rain-affected and it was basically a barrier trial.
“We scratched him from the Emirates because it was a wet track and he had a jump out last Friday morning.
“Even Dwayne said that he was a different horse on top of the ground and we are going to the world of fast tracks – there are no dead fours over in Perth.
“We like fast tracks and that is what he loves.
“It is a very even race, but he has travelled exceptionally well and I will see him this afternoon.
“It is a $1 million race and he is going to be up to his ears in it because the drop in class will suit him down to the ground.
“He hasn’t win this preparation, but he is racing in career best form.”
Messene has shown plenty of tactical versatility during his racing career to date and Hawkes expects the seven-year-old to take up a forward position in the early stages of the race, but he said that he is happy to leave the riding instructions up to jockey Damian Browne.
“From the great barrier he is going to be running right up on the pace,” Hawkes said.
“Damian Browne is going to ride him and he is getting a fair bit of a cult following – everytime he leaves Brisbane he wins a Group 1 race and he has Buffering and our bloke on the weekend, so he has a couple of handy rides.”
Messene is currently available at 2015 Railway Stakes odds of $13 with Ladbrokes, while Delicacy ($4.20) is favourite from Black Heart Bart ($5), Real Love ($5), Good Project ($7.50) and Hazzabeel ($9.50).