Controversial Eclipse Stakes scratching Observational is among the twenty final acceptors for the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Trainer John Sadler is to face an inquiry with Racing Victoria Stewards after they ordered the scratching of Observational from the Group 3 $150,000 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) on the Ladbrokes Park Hillside track at Sandown last Saturday.
Stewards withdrew Observational after the seven year old return a higher than legal level of bicarb after an out of completion test on Friday, but Sadler denies the allegations that he treated the galloper outside of the rules.
Sadler admits that he treated Observational early in the week but rejects the stewards’ allegations that the horse was treated illegally within a clear day of racing as the rule stipulates.
Sadler was confront by head steward Terry Bailey but stood by his statement that he abided by the rules.
“First of all he wanted to know if he’d been treated after Thursday,” Sadler told radio station RSN927..
“I told him he hadn’t.
“When the results came through of that test he was 36.4, which is pretty high, but it was on the Friday and allowing for the one you get off (measure of uncertainty), he was still under the legal limit.
“They rang me to tell me they were scratching him and I was pretty irate.
“I probably said a few things I regret saying but I have no regrets as to my treatment of the horse.”
Despite Observational missing a run last Saturday, he will still travel to Perth and was among the twenty final acceptors for the Railway Stakes.
Observational has only had one run this campaign for an eighth to Moss ‘N’ Dale in the Listed $200,000 Ladbrokes Sale Cup (1600m) at Sale on October 29 and is regarded as one of the outsiders of the field at $51.
Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir will saddle up two runners in the Railway Stakes, multiple Group 1 winner and top weight Black Heart Bart and Ulmann while Chris Waller will have the consistent Tom Melbourne and former New Zealand galloper All Our Roads representing the stable.
Tulloch Lodge co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott have accepted with Supply And Demand while the Lindsey Smith trained Scales Of Justice is the local hope of fending off the Eastern state invaders.
Early betting for the Railway Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Scales Of Justice as the $5.50 favourite ahead of Black Heart Bart and Supply And Demand who share the second line of betting at $7 and the Waller pair of Tom Melbourne at $8 and All Our Roads at $11.
The barrier draw for the 2017 Railway Stakes will be finalised on Tuesday, November 21.
Early betting for the 2017 Railway Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5.50 Scales Of Justice, $7 Supply And Demand, Black Heart Bart, $8 Tom Melbourne, $11 All Our Roads, $13 Ulmann, Sovereign Nation, $15 Silverstream, $17 Cosmic Storm, Variation, $21 Material Man, Pounamu, Royal Star (1st Em) $26 Great Shot, Gatting, $51 Disposition, Observational, $61 Tradesman (2nd Em), $101 Bollywood Blitz (3rd Em), Tonkatuff (4th Em).