Railway Stakes market upheaval
Railway Stakes market upheaval

Betting markets were in a spin yesterday after owner Lloyd Williams cancelled Fawkner's trip to Perth for the $1 million Carlton Draught Railway Stakes (1600m) on November 24.

Punters had backed Fawkner into a $5 second favourite behind the $3.80 top local pick Luckygray to win WA's richest race on the strength of his narrow second to Happy Trails in last Saturday's Group 1 Emirates Stakes.

Fawkner, who was allocated 56.5kg when Railway weights were released earlier in the week, was targeted by WA syndicates hoping to purchase him in the lead-up to last Saturday.

Player's fixed odds manager Ben Pomatti said Fawkner's withdrawal caused a major upheaval.

"There was a fair bit of disruption created with big swings in the market," Pomatti said.

"The horse was at the top of the Railway market and held a big slice of the betting pool."

Fawkner's withdrawal saw Luckygray firm into $3.40 to become the first horse since Tudor Mak to win the Railway Stakes twice.

TAB Sportsbet and Luxbet followed suit, trimming Luckygray's quote and screwing in the prices of other fancied runners.

Player slashed three-year-old Luke's Luck from $7.50 into $5, but last season's Karrakatta Plate-WA Sires' Produce Stakes winner will bypass the Railway, where he has 51kg, and tackle his own age group in the $350,000 WA Guineas (1600m) on the same program.

Emirates equal topweights Wall Street, Fat Al and Playing God are due to arrive in Perth today.

The Mike Moroney-trained Wall Street was the best backed of the trio, firming from $21 into $10, with the Gai Waterhouse-prepared Fat Al coming in for support, backed into $15 with all three agencies.

Pomatti said punters continued to flock to Ranger, who was $5.30 last night after being as much as $17 on Wednesday.

Ranger ran sixth in the Railway last year as the $4.40 favourite when he was heavily interfered with which ultimately allowed Luckygray's rider Shaun O'Donnell to successfully object against He's Remarkable's jockey Kerrin McEvoy and win the Group 1 on protest.

The Testa Rossa gelding carried 56kg last year and drops to 53kg this year.

Connections took a new approach to tackling this year's Railway, with Ranger restricted to three barrier trials at Lark Hill (950m), Bunbury (1000m) and Belmont Park (1400m).

The West Australian

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