Railway Stakes Tips - be wary of Pike switch

Star Exhibit wins the Perth Cup (credit: news.com.au)

Perth's leading jockey, William Pike, has jumped off the favourite Tellem We’re Comin in Saturday’s Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot.

Pike steered the in-form galloper to a commanding victory Northam Cup (1600m) last start but has chosen to stick with the stablemate Regal Power who was runner-up to Samizdat in the Asian Beau Stakes (1400m).

There’s no doubt Pike would have had his choice of the Grant and Alana Williams-trained pair, and considering Regal Power was only first-up last start, it would be logical to assume he’s the one with far more upside.

The four-year-old son of Pierro was given every chance by Pike but couldn’t match motors with Samizdat over the concluding stages as the winner was third-up with a clear fitness edge. 

Regal Power now meets Samizdat 3kg better at the weights, and with more upside than that galloper, I’m confident he has Samizdat covered.

However, I’m taking on Pike and Regal Power with an impressive last start winner that seems to have go to a new level this time in. 

The Adam Durrant-conditioned Star Exhibit recorded a half-length victory over Gatting when first-up in the Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) which was run in 1:22.61 on a Good 4 as opposed to the Asian Beau Stakes which was won in 1:24.12 on a Soft 5.

They went extremely slow early in the Lee Steere which was run 9.6 lengths below benchmark (BM) to the 600m. 

Star Exhibit came from last to win and went 10.5 lengths above BM from the 600m which is the strongest final 600m BM figures of any runner heading into the Railway Stakes. 

Star Exhibit ran his quickest ever 600m (33.24), 400m (21.78) and 200m (10.86), and while the quick sectionals could be attributed to the slow early speed, he had gone slower to the 600m on five previous occasions and still produced slower final figures. 

The fact he was able to come from last off such a slow speed shows how well he has returned this campaign, and being a dual Perth Cup (2400m) winner, he’s sure to improve over longer. 

Last year, Star Exhibit finished 7th in the Northerly Stakes (1400m) in a time of 1:23.56 and then 7th in the Lee Steere in 1:24.88 before another 7th in the Railway Stakes in 1:34.68.

Last year’s Railway Stakes was the quickest run since 1988, and Star Exhibit’s time would have been good enough to win just about every other year. 

His first-up effort this time in rates six lengths better than first-up last year, and if that can translate to the Railway Stakes where he has drawn ideally in gate 4 for Peter Hall, Star Exhibit looks the one to beat. 

Regal Power looms as the main danger with Pike aboard, while Gatting and Reykjavik look next best.

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Railway Stakes Tips - be wary of Pike switch

Perth's leading jockey, William Pike, has jumped off the favourite Tellem We’re Comin in Saturday’s Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot.

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