Special Delivery will make his Group 1 debut in the 2015 Railway Stakes at Ascot on Saturday and trainer Adam Durrant believes that the progressive gelding is a knockout chance in the $1 million event.
Special Delivery was transferred from the care of Grant Williams to Durrant after he finished 8th behind Delicacy in the Group 2 WATC Derby (2400m) at Ascot on April 11 and he has gone to another level since joining the Durrant stable.
The Testa Rossa gelding started his campaign with a tough win in the Amelia Park Handicap (1400m) at Belmont Park on September 12 and he made it two wins on the trot when he scored a narrow victory over Meteoroid in the Perth Racing Membership Handicap (1400m) at the same venue on September 26.
Special Delivery had no luck in running whatsoever when he finished third behind Civil Rights and Chasing Chaos in the Tabtouch Handicap (1400m) at Belmont Park on October 10, but he returned to winning form in the Arlec Australia Handicap (1600m) at Ascot on October 24 and the York Cup (1500m) on November 8.
Durrant admits that Special Delivery faces the toughest challenge of his racing career to date in the Railway Stakes to date, but he believes that the four-year-old still has plenty of upside in front of him and can be a factor in the finish if there is enough early speed in the 2015 Railway Stakes.
“The other horse is a really good chance,” Durrant said.
“He is only just coming out of normal Stakes grade, but he is one of those horses that only does what he has to.
“In running he will sort of get back in the field and he will make up six lengths in about two lengths to join them on straightening.
“He is a typical Testa Rossa that doesn’t really give you what he has got, but if you watch his replays he has a really good turn-of-foot and he should have won all five starts for me.
“He is a lovely type and he is a little bit of a wolf in sleeps clothing.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if there was something to chase and a good strong Railway, which it will be, if he would be the horse to progress.”
Special Delivery is currently available at 2015 Railway Stakes odds of $26 with Ladbrokes, while Delicacy ($4.20) is a clear favourite from Black Heart Bart ($5), Real Love ($5), Good Project ($7.50), Hazzabeel ($9.50), Messene ($13), Wink And A Nod ($19), Balmont Girl ($19) and Battle Hero ($21).