If someone told you last year that Playing God would be running in the 2011 Railway Stakesand you could get nearly double figure odds for him you’d probably have taken them without a hint of hesitation.
He had just been named WA Champion Horse of the Year and had enjoyed success both at home and against the best on the east coast.
If you told them that this season he’d once again be matching it with the best in the country and even earn a Cox Plate start, those big Railway Stakes odds would begin to look even more appealing.
That’s not the case though as Playing God sits steadily in fourth position on the Railway Stakes market, three others clearly more fancied than the Neville Parnham trained runner.
To be fair he did finish towards the tail of the field in the Cox Plate and his incredible consistent record of top three finishes has been dampened somewhat over the spring.
That said he does drop a long way back in class and on his home track at Ascot he’ll surely take some beating.
It wasn’t that long ago where he ran third to December Draw in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes and Parnham says there’s no reason he won’t be back to that type of form come tomorrow afternoon.
“To be honest I couldn’t be happier with the horse,” Parnham said.
“His work has been terrific since his return and more importantly his last run in the Cox Plate didn’t appear to harm him at all.”
That was always going to be the big concern, was four weeks enough time to get the horse fresh enough to drop back to run a mile.
If you take the trainer on his word though it’s not a concern you should have.
“He came through that race terrifically well and didn’t look tired,” he said.
“It’s been four weeks since his last run but he’s had some good gallops since and after Tuesday’s work I felt he was where he needed to be.
“He will run a mighty race.”
Playing God will jump from gate nine in the race with jockey Steve Parnham in the saddle and local runner Ranger leading the market.