Trainer Chris Waller is still giving Mackintosh a great chance of winning the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday for a second year in succession for the stable even though he has drawn a wide barrier.
Damien Oliver takes the ride on Mackintosh who has drawn barrier sixteen in the original draw but could move in three spots if the three emergencies aren’t required when the final field is reduced to the capacity limit of sixteen runners.
Waller will also saddle up last year’s Railway Stakes winner Good Project who has drawn barrier seven in the original draw with Hugh Bowman to ride.
Waller said that Good Project jumped from barrier eleven in a fourteen horse field last year to win and is confident that Oliver will be able to give Macintosh every chance from the wide gate.
“It makes it hard but it’s possible,” Waller told racing.com.
“We’ve got a good local jockey in Damien Oliver on board so there’s plenty of local experience and he takes some good form into the race.”
Waller was making a note of the fact that Oliver kicked off his illustrious career as an apprentice in Perth before transferring to the powerful Lee Freedman stable in the late 1980s before becoming one of Australia’s greatest jockeys.
Mackintosh (fifth) and Good Project (seventh) are both coming off a run in the Group 1 $1m Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on October 29 and Waller is giving them both a chance of getting amongst the prizemoney.
“I had a leaning towards Mackintosh before hearing of the barrier draw but then again, Good Project won the race last year and he came from a very wide gate so luck obviously plays a part,” Waller said.
“Zac Purton got off Good Project in the Cantala and said he should have run third,” Waller said.
“It’s pretty good form and both horses have only had the three runs this prep so we’re not taking tired horses there.
“They’ve still got some speed in their legs.”
Mackintosh is on the second line of betting at $6 for the Railway Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au while the $5 favourite Perfect Reflection has drawn perfectly at barrier two with Perth’s leading jockey William Pike in the saddle.
Market order for the Railway Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Perfect Reflection, $6 Mackintosh, $7.50 Rageese, $8.50 Scales Of Justice, $10 Deposition, Tradesman, $14 Kawi, He Or She, Good Project, $15 Heart Starter, $17 Lite’n In My Veins, $31 Neverland, Great Shot, $34 Ideal Image, $51 Showy Chloe, $61 Zarantz, $71 Balmont Girl, $91 Pornichet, $101 Tick Tick Bloom.