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OTI Racing Manager Terry Hendreson will be giving Damien Oliver the option of setting the pace on Tom Melbourne from the inside gate in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.

Tom Melbourne, above with white cap and sleeves, has drawn the inside barrier in the Railway Stakes at Ascot.Photo by Steve Hart.

Tom Melbourne, above with white cap and sleeves, has drawn the inside barrier in the Railway Stakes at Ascot.Photo by Steve Hart.

The Chris Waller trained Tom Melbourne has led in the past and has a tendency to race keenly and Henderson doesn’t want him to be cluttered up on the fence behind the leaders and going too fiercely.

“He can be a puller, but can also come out of the gates well and he might even lead,” Henderson told racing.com.

“Over the mile, he’s so fit he should be able to do that. You wouldn’t give up the barrier because he could be two back on the fence and pulling his head off.”

Tom Melbourne has been a consistent performer during the 2017 Spring Carnival with five seconds from six outings but has failed to find the winner’s stall.

The professional placegetter was Group 1 placed on two occasions when second to Happy Clapper in the Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on September 30 three starts back and second to his stablemate Shillelagh in the Group 1 $1m Kennedy Mile (1600m) at Flemington on November 4 at his latest start.

Sandwiched in between those two Group 1 placings was a sixth to Tosen Stardom in the Group 1 $500,000 United Petroleum Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 14.

Tom Melbourne is holding a slight advantage at the top of the Railway Stakes market order at $6 with Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of the Darren Weir trained Black Heart Bart and last year’s winner Scales Of Justice at $6.50.

Waller will also saddle up former New Zealand trained All Our Roads who is listed as a $16 chance.

All Our Roads has drawn out wide at eighteen in the original draw with Craig Williams booked to ride and is coming off a last start fourth to stablemate Shillelagh in the Group 1 $1m Kennedy Mile (1600m) at Flemington on November 4.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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