All American on track for rare double
David Hayes has All American primed to emulate champion Better Loosen Up who, trained by his late father Colin, is the only horse to land the Emirates-Railway Stakes double.
Hayes said All American had settled in remarkably well in Perth after his Emirates win two weeks ago and was confident of a big showing again from the four-year-old on Saturday.
"I am very happy with him," Hayes said. "He’s really good.
"We gave him an easy gallop on his own at the Breakfast with the Stars on Tuesday this week but he didn’t need much.
"He has been up all spring and if he is not fit now he never will be."
Australian Racehorse of the Year in the 1990-91 season, Better Loosen Up won the Emirates, then known as the Honda Stakes, on the last day of the Melbourne Cup carnival as well as Perth’s Winfield Stakes and Railway Stakes in 1989.
He carried 55.5kg in the Railway which is still the weight-carrying record since the introduction of the metric system in 1972. The 2007 Railway winner El Presidente also carried 55.5kg.
All American (56kg), Sniper’s Bullet (56.5kg) and Megatic (57kg) all have a chance to become the highest-weighted Railway winner since Tudor Mak carried the equivalent of 61kg to victory in 1967.
Hayes said that All American, who is at $7.50 with TAB Sportsbet, only had to hold his Emirates Stakes form, when he surged past Cox Plate winner So You Think, to win again.
"Last start he ran one of the best miles ever run at Flemington, running down a Cox Plate winner, and if he can hold that form, which I think he is, he is going to run a great race," he said.
"There is good pace, he has drawn a good barrier (two) and if he gets luck between the 600 metres and 300 metres he will be very hard to beat."
Veteran Perth trainer Albie Beckett conceded the big weight Megatic ($16) had to contend with was a concern but he was just as mindful that an Eastern states-trained horse hadn’t won the Railway in the last decade.
"These ratings make it hard for him, but he has been carrying 60kg in handicaps and still winning," Beckett said.
He warned punters to forget Megatic’s last-start failure when a close fifth in the Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on November 7.
The son of Danetime worked impressively on Tuesday with race jockey Pat Carbery aboard.
"He worked strongly over 1000 metres and had a good blow after the gallop. His bumpers were as clean as a whistle," Beckett said.
"I would have liked a better barrier (11) and the weight is a concern, but that is what we have to deal with and the horse could not be in better form heading into the race."
Meanwhile, support for Victorian galloper Gold Salute continues to grow with TAB Sportsbet taking nearly $40,000 on the gelding on Thursday and chopping his price from $3.80 to $3.
As much as $5 was offered before Tuesday’s barrier draw.
The Tony Noonan-trained Ortensia remains solid in betting at $7.50 alongside All American.
By Robert Windmill