Testa Rossa gelding Ranger has firmed into $3.60 favouritism for the G1 Railway Stakes (1600m) in Perth on Saturday week.
Ranger is raced by Bob and Sandra Peters and his Railway quote was slashed from $17 into $6.50 after he cruised to victory in the G2 Lee-Steere Stakes last Saturday. Further support this week has seen him replace up-and-comer Luckygray on top of markets for the million-dollar mile.
Ranger (5g Testa Rossa – Marrich Bay by Old Spice) is unbeaten this campaign after a first-up victory at Belmont Park followed by the LR Northerly Stakes at Ascot.
The Lee-Steere Stakes was a momentous result for Peters. It was his 100th black-type victory going back to the same program in 1979 when he won the LR Ascot Gold Cup with NZ bred stallion Reinella (Reindeer).
Vinery sire Testa Rossa will be gunning for a Group 1 double at Ascot’s Super Saturday program on November 19. His mare Ortensia was made a $2.20 favourite for the Winterbottom Stakes after it was announced Black Caviar would not be travelling to Perth.
Peters won the 2001 Railway with Old Comrade (Old Spice) and he has a more than able back-up with Rafferty in Perth’s premier mile.
Rafferty is by Vinery champion More Than Ready and he had won three of his last four starts this spring before a fast finishing third in the LR Northam Cup on October 23.
“Ranger is a very relaxed horse,” Peters explained. “Testa Rossa is best known for his sprinters like Ortensia and Rostova but he has also sired South Australian Derby winner Testafiable.”
Ranger is a half-brother to 2003 Railway winner Hardrada (Marooned). Their dam Marrich Bay is by Old Spice, a Kaoru Star horse that Peters stood at Clairefontaine Stud in association with the late Mark Spencer.
Old Spice sired 224 winners while based in the WA’s south-west even though he averaged just 35 mares a season from 1986 until 2002.
He reached a career high when Rogan Josh won the 1998 Melbourne Cup and there are one or two of his stock still in training.
His most recent winner Old Mystique is an 11 year-old brother of Rogan Josh. He won at Grenfell in September and is racing again at Bathurst this Saturday.