Professional placegetter Tom Melbourne will get his chance to break his winning hoodoo when he tackles the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
The Chris Waller trained Tom Melbourne has visited the runner’s up stall on five occasions from his last six starts, twice at Group 1 level and the Waller stable’s racing manager Liam Prior is confident the seven year old can breakthrough for an overdue win on the weekend.
Tom Melbourne is also nominated for the Group 1 $1m Magic Millions-Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot in Perth on December 9.
“I think he has a sense of timing and will be very competitive in both,” Prior told Tabradio’s the Sports Daily.
“He probably deserves a win at the top level and I pretty much think Perth will be able to give him that opportunity.
“I don’t think he has trouble finding the line, but he has basically found one better on a number of occasions.
“If any horse deserves a Group 1 win he does because he has been able to mix it with the best of them at that level.
“He will go to Perth and if he draws well in the Railway and gets a good tempo he will give it a big shake.”
Three starts back Tom Melbourne was beaten half a length when second to Happy Clapper in the Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on September 30 while last start his stablemate Shillelagh proved to be too strong by a neck when they finished first and second in the Group 1 $1m Kennedy Mile (1600m) at Flemington on November 4.
The Waller stable also has All Our Roads scheduled to run in the Railway Stakes and Prior is also predicting a strong showing from the former Kiwi galloper after finishing fourth in the Kennedy Mile.
“If he (All Our Roads) can draw a good gate in the Railway and get a smother up as opposed to making the running he has the class,” Prior said.
“It’s hard to split both of them, but given natural improvement out of Melbourne, All Our Roads is on an upwards trajectory.”
Damien Oliver has been given the task of steering Tom Melbourne to victory in the Railway Stakes while Craig Williams has been booked to ride All Our Roads.