The Railway Stakes is the main lead-up race to Australia’s final Group One race of the year, the Kingston Town Classic, and the performance of an international galloper in the former marks out him as the one to back in the latter.
Scales Of Justice, ridden by 13-time Hong Kong premiership winner Douglas Whyte, won the Railway Stakes by two and three-quarter lengths. It was an emphatic victory by the locally trained four-year-old gelding under an outstanding front-running ride from the South African jockey, who judged the pace perfectly, kicked off the Ascot turn and encouraged his mount to fend off defending champion Good Project.
The trainer of Scales Of Justice, Lindsey Smith, has said that his charge will head to the Kingston Town Classic but very few gallopers do the double and he will not have the feather weight of 53 kilograms on his back on Saturday 3 December. The Railway Stakes is a handicap, whereas the Kingston Town Classic is run under weight-for-age conditions, which means weight swings galore.
The weights-and-measures horse going from the Railway Stakes to the Kingston Town Classic is Kawi, who carried the huge impost of 58.5kg in the first of Ascot’s three Group One races over three successive Saturdays. Kawi won five Group One events in his native New Zealand between August 2015 and this October before his straight-talking trainer, Allan Sharrock, decided to target the $1,000,000 races in Perth. This is significant because Kawi had the New Zealand triple crown at his mercy after winning its first two legs but his connections turned down the chance of making history at home to chase the big bucks on offer in Western Australia.
Kawi got set for the Railway Stakes in the Lee Steere Stakes and nothing went to plan for the New Zealand star. Pornichet reacted badly to wearing blinkers so the pace was too hot and Kawi, which Michael Walker had intended to position on the heels of the Doomben Cup winner, was left to cart the rest of the field into the race. Kawi ran out of gas in the Ascot straight, although he plugged on well to finish fourth. It was a gallant effort considering that Kawi did not arrive in Perth until three days before the contest.
Sharrock conceded that Kawi could not win the Railway Stakes with 58.5kg but, if he had seen daylight when Walker wanted to press go on the five-time Group One winner, he would have finished second behind Scales Of Justice, probably beaten by around one length. Kawi would be the Kingston Town Classic favourite if the gap that he wanted to go through did not close about 250 metres from home in the Railway Stakes but bookmakers do not have him anywhere near the top of their markets. Kawi is a genuine Group One performer and he will not have to carry lumps of weights more than his rivals in the Kingston Town Classic due to its different rules.
The Kingston Town Classic has been Kawi’s primary target ever since Sharrock hatched his plan to make the trip from New Plymouth on New Zealand’s North Island to Perth on the west coast of Australia. Bet365 is offering odds of +800 about Kawi winning his sixth Group One race before flying back across the Tasman Sea and that is a futures wager worth striking. Kawi is an each-way special at those odds.
Kawi to win the Kingston Town Classic – Each Way
Saturday 3rd December