The 2014 Railway Stakes barrier draw has been conducted and pre-race favourite The Cleaner is set to jump from barrier seven in the Group 1 event at Ascot this afternoon.
The Cleaner is sure to take up the running in the early stages of the Railway Stakes and trainer Mick Burles is confident that the popular gelding should have no issues getting across to the lead from the favourable barrier.
The Savoire Vivre was forced to do plenty of work in the early stages of the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) to take up the running after he jumped from the outside gate, but he was assisted by barrier eight when he finished a gallant third behind Hucklebuck and Lucky Hussler in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 8.
While The Cleaner was the big winner of the Railway Stakes barrier draw, some of the other leading chances did not fare as well and will need plenty of luck to take out the Group 1 event at Ascot this weekend.
Tony Gollan-trained Alma’s Fury stamped himself as a Railway Stakes contender when he finished a close second behind Hucklebuck in the Group 3 Yellowglen Stakes (1400m), but has drawn poorly in barrier 18.
Moriarty is dropping back in trip after finishing eighth in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day and jockey Nash Rawiller will likely be forced to settle the imported galloper towards the tail of the field when he jumps from barrier 15, while consistent mare Elite Belle could face a tough run in transit from her wide gate.
Other horses that did not fare well at the Railway Stakes barrier draw include the resuming Mr Moet (barrier 14), Belmont Girl (barrier five), Chester Road (barrier 17), Fancy Feet (barrier 20) and Trading Day (barrier 12).
Respondent has been one of the best-backed runners in 2014 Railway Stakes betting markets and his odds are set to continue to shorten after he drew barrier one this morning.
The Haradasun gelding won the Group 2 Western Australian Derby (2400m) in the autumn and he has performed well in the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m), Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) and Group 3 R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m) since he returned to racing in October.
Another big winner from the Railway Stakes barrier draw was Ranger, who is chasing his first race win since 2011 as well as last start winner Bass Strait (barrier three), The Goodwood winner Smokin’ Joey (barrier six) and emergencies Miss Rose De Lago (barrier seven) and Rebel Son (barrier four).
The Cleaner ($4.20) remains a clear favourite in the 2014 Railway Stakes betting market with Ladbrokes Australia from Respondent ($7), Elite Belle ($8) and Balmont Girl ($10).