A word warning is coming out of West Australia about today’s Group 1 $1m Railway Stakes (1600m) favourite Ranger from no less than its big owner-breeder Bob Peters.
Peters, who will be represented by 14 horses at today’s meet dubbed Ascot Super Saturday, believes his main hope Ranger is harshly weighted on 56kg in the feature.
Peters who races his horses with wife Sandra, went further but nominating New Zealander He’s Remarkable and local Luckygray, both on the minimum 53kg, as the ones to beat.
He said champion galloper Better Loosen Up won this race in 1989 with 55.5kg.
“Two starts back he got 7kg off Waratah’s Secret, it’s 1kg in the Railway,” Peters said.
“I know it’s a high minimum but you’ve still got to carry it.
Ranger won his last start in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) but Peters said that may have been flattering.
“He ran out of his skin but it was a day that didn’t suit the front-runners and the track had give in it which is unusual
“He’d have been on the minimum if he hadn’t won,” he said.
While the early morning Ascot rating again has the sting out of the ground, the fine weather could make the track good.
Peters, who won the Railway with Old Comrade in 2001, will have three runners prepared by Grant Williams, 39, who has a harness racing background.
Until stablemate Tranquility drew barrier 18, Peters said he preferred her chances to Ranger, the $3.60 TAB Sportsbet
Bookmakers however have stuck firm with Ranger all week.
The best backed in the Railway is New Zealander He’s Remarkable who was $15 last week and is now second favourite at $5.50.
Trainer Roger James is hell bent on winning a Group 1 with the Pentire entire to add value as a stallion.
A win in today’s Railway Stakes will also qualify the four year old for Sydney’s Doncaster Hcp (1600m) in the autumn.