Upbeat Radford States His Railway Stakes Case

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Rhys Radford scaled his greatest heights as a trainer when Great Shot won the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and he doesn’t lack any confidence that he can repeat the win at Ascot on Saturday.

In a big upset at double figure odds four years ago, Great Shot caused a boil over when under jockey Craig Staples he produced a gutsy performance to lead from barrier to post and win by a half-head.

The win was a fairytale result for Radford, his first Group 1 success, as Great Shot had serious back concerns the year previously and was in grave danger of never racing again.

Normally reserved and modest when talking about his horses, Radford was bullish about the prospects of securing his second Railway Stakes with a dual pronged attack.

Radford is under no illusion of the task facing Playing God brothers Comfort Me and Son Of Bacchus in Perth’s premier mile race, but he believes they can measure up.

Comfort Me faces a massive leap in class, but has winning form on his side after going back to back over 1400m and 1500m respectively at Ascot.

Last start with 60.5kg, the five year-old burst clear in the straight after stalking Lorentinio to the turn and defeated Proconsent by a 1 ¼ length margin.

Radford said Comfort Me was tracking in the right direction.

“He’s a horse in form,” Radford told Tabradio.

“I probably would have liked another 12-months really, so he could be a bit more seasoned, but he’s going well.

“It will be interesting to see how he goes in this grade at his first go, but I’m definitely excited to see it.

“With a good barrier and the right run, I can’t see any reason why he can’t be a real live chance.

“If he draws inside eight he will be.”

Son Of Bacchus is on the quick turnaround after looking the winner in last week’s Peters Stakes (1500m).

He was in front with 50m remaining, but had to settle for a short-neck second after Kissonallforcheeks came through late.

It was the six-year-old’s second stakes placing after finishing third in last year’s Grandstand Cup (1500m).

“He’s always showed a bit, but has never really put it together,” Radford said.

“Being by Playing God, maybe he has come of age.

“He seems a genuine racehorse.

“He gets back in his races and will need a lot of luck, but if we can get the right passage through, he can run a cheeky race too.”

Peter Knuckey will ride Comfort Me and Jason Whiting is on Son Of Bacchus.

Both gelding’s carry 53kg.

Julio Santarelli
www.rwwa.com.au

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