Imported French galloper Mutual Trust will have the chance to record his maiden win in Australia when he contests the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Mutual Trust won the 2011 Group 1 Prix Jean Prat (1600m) in Europe but since arriving in Australia at the start of 2013 is yet to record a race win.
The son of Cacique failed to beat home a single runner in either the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) or Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) during the 2013 Melbourne Festival Of Racing and connections made the decision to geld the five-year-old before the start of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
Mutual Trust has improved significantly since having the ‘ultimate gear change’; finishing eighth in the Listed The Sofitel (1400m), 11th in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and a brave sixth in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) before finishing second behind Eclipse Stakes winner Mouro in the Sale Cup (1600m).
Trainer Sam Prichard-Gordon has been delighted with the form of Mutual Trust since he was gelded and, based on his performance in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap, believes that he will be competitive in the Railway Stakes this weekend.
“We gelded him not long after he ran in the Easter Cup,” Sam Prichard-Gordon told TVN.
“He was charging up on the pace, head to one side, he was obviously over the top.
“The owners decided they wanted a racecourse so we gelded him and that has turned his form around.
“His run in the Toorak to hold on and run sixth was terrific.”
Mutual Trust will carry 54kg in the Railway Stakes but will need to be at his very best to beat what is a very strong field in the Group 1 event this Saturday.
Headlining the field are the past two winners of the event, Luckygray and Mr Moet, who are both aiming to join Miss Muffet (1987 and 1988) and Tudor Mak (1968 and 1969) as the only horses to win the Railway Stakes on multiple occasions.
Mutual Trust will be ridden by leading jockey Damien Oliver, who has contested the Railway Stakes on twelve occasions but is yet to record a win; finishing third on Mansion House in 2007 and third on Colonial Spirit in 1992.