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Maher Stable Hoping Patience Pays Off With Railway Man

By Ray Hickson

The Ciaron Maher stable is looking for a positive first-up experience for multi-million dollar colt Railway Man that could set him up as a spring prospect so all eyes will be on his return at Kensington on Wednesday.

The $2.5 million colt has raced once, back at the end of January, and Maher’s assistant trainer Johann Gerard-Dubord said the team is prepared to be patient with the youngster.

“Whatever he’s doing now we know he’s going to be a much better horse in six months time,’’ he said.

“He has it there. The dam (Booker) got better with age and that will be the case with him.

“There’s no rush. He could be a spring horse, but it’s a matter of getting him there slowly.”

What Railway Man has in his favour for taking on older horses in the TAB Handicap (1150m) is a build up that’s been a lot smoother than going into his debut where he was beaten 5-1/2 lengths by Getafix.

Gerard-Dubord said that race, run over 1250m, was just six days after his third barrier trial and that’s not generally normal practice for the Maher stable.

“He was drawn wide so we had to make him work a bit, he’d been ridden quiet in his trials and had to go forward,’’ he said.

Railway Man runs second in a Randwick trial on May 31

“We were hoping his ability would help him get the win but things didn’t work out. He’s a big baby but has plenty of ability.”

This time around Railway Man, $6 with TAB on Tuesday, has trialled just twice, the latest 12 days prior to Wednesday’s race, and he produced a late burst to fail narrowly in the 1050m gallop.

Jason Collett has been booked to ride and Gerard-Dubord said he’s set up to run well from a favourable barrier but there’s still one eye on the track conditions as ideally he wouldn’t like to kick off on a heavy track.

“In the second trial at Randwick we asked him to extend late and through the line and he might have learnt a bit from that,’’ he said.

“We’re mindful of finding the right race. He’s drawn well but we don’t want the track to be too wet.”

Stablemate Until Valhalla has raced twice on the Kensington track for her maiden win and a second-up third, both over 1400m.

Gerard-Dubord said she should be forgiven for her defeat as favourite at Hawkesbury a month ago as she tackles the Headwater @ Vinery Stud Handicap (1400m).

The filly chased Redbreast home over the same track and distance second-up before being caught in an early speed battle when pushing forward under 59.5kg.

“There wasn’t much speed on paper and she was drawn a bit wide so we decided to go forward,’’ he said.

“She had to work a bit to get there and late that cost her a bit.

“The winner (Allapercanto) and second horse both came from the back, the winner has won again since so the form is franked.”

All the fields, form and replays for Wednesday's Kensington meeting

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