Great Shot ($34)
The Railway Stakes is considered the feature race that takes place in Western Australia. Held on the first Saturday of the three-week Perth summer carnival, Ascot Racecourse comes to life for the grand final for many of the local horses.
With a lucrative prize purse of a million dollars, the Railway also attracts quality milers from Melbourne and Sydney whose owners are looking for something extra after the spring carnival. But as recent results have demonstrated, it's a rare occurrence for a visiting horse to beat the locals on their home track.
The Railway was first run back in 1887, over a distance of one-and-a-quarter miles. After a few fluctuations in distance, the race has been run over a mile every year from 1984. And in 1979, the race was upgraded in status to Group 1 where it has remained since, reflecting the quality of the race.
Because of the uphill home straight at Ascot, the 1,600 metres really feels like a bit longer for the horses. This is why horses that have been proven over longer distances, and horses with good stamina tend to fare well.
Even though the Railway has been dominated by WA-based horses over the years, some equine greats have taken out the prize. Carbine, Better Loosen Up and most recently Northerly have run first past the Ascot post.
Last year's edition of the race was one of the most thrilling in recent memory. Great Shot lead from start to finish, and somehow managed to hold off the challenges made by Black Hart Bart down the outside, and Tom Melbourne up the inside rail.
Fans of Tom Melbourne must have thought he was home, only for the hardened Great Shot to fight back and relegate the fan favourite to another Group One placing.