Three times Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver is not concerned about Mackintosh’s wide barrier in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
The Chris Waller trained Mackintosh came up with barrier sixteen in the original draw of sixteen plus three emergencies and looks likely to jump from thirteen if all the emergencies fail to gain a start.
“Drawn a little bit awkwardly, but he’ll come in a few with the emergencies inside of him,” Oliver told racing.com.
“I think he’s got a terrific chance. He’s been in really good form.”
Oliver considers Mackintosh’s fairly light Spring Carnival campaign will be to his advantage as he lines up for his fourth start this preparation.
“I don’t think he’s been over-taxed during the spring, and coming off a good last-start in the Cantala, so I think it’s important you want a horse who hasn’t been over-taxed during the spring,” Oliver said.
“He’s got a nice weight, so I think he’s a good chance.”
Mackintosh has been handicapped on the minimum 54kg and is coming off a last start fifth to Le Romain in the Group 1 $1m Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on October 29, the first day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Pins four year olds previous two Spring Carnival runs were also good with a first up win in the Group 2 $200,000 Task Retail Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on September 10 followed by a third to Hauraki in the Group 1 $1m Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 1.
Oliver has had a very lean Spring Carnival which was interrupted by a lengthy suspension which resulted in him not adding to his Group 1 tally over the Spring meetings.
Oliver had to serve a twenty-meeting suspension which began after the Caulfield Cup meeting on October 15 and he was back in the saddle on Melbourne Cup Day after Racing Victoria stewards found him guilty of reckless riding for moving out abruptly at the 700m on eventual winner Flying Artie in the Group 3 $350,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) causing Ken’s Dream to be hampered.
The multiple premiership winning jockey failed to ride a winner over the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival and wasn’t back in the winner’s stall until he saluted on Star Fortune in a 1200m BenchMark 78 Handicap at Moonee Valley on November 11.
Oliver then backed up the following day to win on the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Prompt Response in the Listed $120,000 Twilight Glow Stakes (1400m) at Sandown.
Waller will also saddle up last year’s Railway Stakes winner Good Project who has drawn better at seven with Hugh Bowman booked to ride.
Good Project has been unplaced from three Spring runs and heads to Perth following a seventh to Le Romain in the Cantala Stakes.
Mackintosh is on the second line of betting at $6.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au while Good Project is rated a $14 chance to make it back to back Railway Stakes wins.
Local mare Perfect Reflection remains the favourite at $5.50 while the Darren Weir trained Rageese and the locally supported Tradesman share the third line of betting at $7.50.