Elite level racing in Perth for the summer season kicks off this weekend in the form of the Group 1 $1.5 million Furphy Railway Stakes (1600m) and it is Tuvalu carrying the top-weight leading the markets.


Top-weight Tuvalu is favourite to take out the Railway Stakes 2023 in WA this weekend. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

The Lindsey Smith-trained six-year-old will cart 58kg in the Ascot feature as he runs at the track for the first time out to return to winning form.

It has been awhile between drinks with his latest victory being the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) in October of last year.

His lead-up Melbourne form this spring has been excellent including a second to Alligator Blood on September 23 in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).

At his latest start he ran third just 0.4 lengths beaten in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at The Valley on Cox Plate Day with improvement to come.

Tuvalu is rock hard fit now, at his pet distance, is drawn favourably in gate four for Jamie Kah and is the deserving $4.80 favourite in the latest markets at Ladbrokes.

The locals are led by the Grant & Alana Williams-trained Star Turn mare Alsephina who also pays $4.80 to hand the stable their fifth Railway Stakes victory in six years.

The father-daughter duo has prepared all the Railway Stakes winners going back to 2018 with the exception of Trix Of The Trade (Colin Webster) last year.

Alsephina jumps from barrier seven on Saturday with Perth’s premier hoop William Pike in the saddle.

The five-year-old has a brilliant Ascot strike-rate (6:6-2-0), is undefeated with three previous mile victories, and is third-up now off back-to-back Group 3 seconds over less distance this campaign.

Sydney’s best trainer Chris Waller chases his second Railway Stakes success after saluting in 2015 with Good Project when he saddles-up one-time favourite Roots ($6) from out in gate 15.

The five-year-old daughter of Press Statement comes off an impressive Group 2 Hot Danish Stakes (1400m) win by 2.68 lengths at Rosehill on November 11 and is more than up to this at her best with luck from the gate.

The early Railway Stakes market mover slashed from $31 to $16 is the Lou Luciani-trained Marocchino in gate 14 with Chris Parnham in the saddle.

The seven-year-old has his 51st career start on the weekend and was an upset Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes winner over Alsephina two back at 100/1.

Others to consider at longer Railway Stakes odds include Summer Dickson’s Group 3 Eurythmic Stakes winning mare Karli’s Karma ($13), Dom To Shoot ($17) coming off a Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes second, and Forgot You ($18) coming off a Flemington win on Melbourne Cup Day.

The Railway Stakes race is scheduled to jump at 6:09pm (AWST) at Ascot on Saturday afternoon as the penultimate event on the nine-race Perth card.

2023 Railway Stakes Field & Barriers

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 12x79x4323 TUVALU Lindsey Smith Ms Jamie Kah 4 58kg 114
2 011x10x017 MAROCCHINO Lou Luciani Chris Parnham 14 57kg 112
3 23x5225x33 COMFORT ME Rhys Radford Peter Knuckey 18 54kg 106
4 45x31823x2 DOM TO SHOOT Sean & Jake Casey Jordan Turner 12 54kg 106
5 410x52x501 ROOTS Chris Waller Tommy Berry 15 54kg 106
6 x1316x0x98 TRIX OF THE TRADE Colin Webster Troy Turner 1 54kg 106
7 2111111×22 ALSEPHINA Grant & Alana Williams William Pike 7 53kg 97
8 5x60113x75 BUSTLER Neville Parnham Steven Parnham 2 53kg 102
9 430×762931 FORGOT YOU (NZ) Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Daniel Moor 19 53kg 103
10 3x11200x61 KARLI’S KARMA Summer Dickson Michael Poy 8 53kg 102
11 x845221x30 LAST OF THE LINE Stephen Miller Brad Parnham 13 53kg 103
12 09x7008x44 MASSIMO Chris & Michael Gangemi Clint Johnston-Porter 17 53kg 102
13 x11751x351 MOJO RHYTHM Mitchell Pateman Ms Holly Watson 6 53kg 90
14 21x0180x18 SEARCHIN’ ROC’S Jim Taylor Jason Brown 5 53kg 96
15 x05912x809 STARTRADE Daniel Morton Chris Nicoll 10 53kg 102
16 141211x2x6 THE VELVET QUEEN Darren McAuliffe Patrick Carbery 16 53kg 98
17e 2112311×34 CASINO SEVENTEEN Grant & Alana Williams Shaun McGruddy 3 53kg 96
18e 4928322613 LET’S GALAHVANT Daniel & Ben Pearce 9 53kg 94
19e 15×2317655 RIVER RUBICON Steve Wolfe Joseph Azzopardi 11 53kg 92

Table Credit: Racing Australia.


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About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the horseracing.com.au team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.