Although it’s not required or sought after by trainer Gino Poletti there will be a certain sense of redemption if Luckygray wins the Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot tomorrow.
The champion five-year-old can put to rest any lingering controversy from last year’s Railway Stakes and claim a Group 1 title in his own right.
Luckgray ran second to New Zealand’s He’s Remarkable but was handed the race after stewards sensationally upheld a protest from jockey Shaun O’Donnell.
Luckygray is also out to dismiss concerns the 1800 metres of the Kingston Town Classic is beyond him following his efforts from 12 months ago.
The son of Bradbury’s Luck commenced a warm favourite but despite a late rally he ran fifth and couldn’t bridge the gap on successive winner Playing God.
“He’s only had one crack at the distance and there were excuses,” said Poletti.
“It was the fifth run of his campaign and he was on the downward spiral.
“It was also a leader’s track and he ran home in the quickest final sectional.
“I think the 1800m is as far as he wants to go but I’m confident from what we have seen he will run out the trip.”
Poletti has been amazed by Luckygray’s durability when it appeared the gelding’s year was over after a trip to Melbourne in the spring.
Luckygray ran a creditable fourth to Second Effort in the Memsie Stakes (1400m) and was unplaced in the Lawrence Stakes (1400m) before being cruelled by illness.
“Ten weeks ago he was in a spelling paddock at Geelong,” said Poletti.
“Here he is on Saturday fronting up to another Group 1.
“It’s marvellous what he has been able to do for us and he has done us proud.”
Luckygray returned to take out the WAROA Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) in blistering style and was a gallant second in the Railway Stakes with the top weight of 58kg.
Luckygray, back at weight-for-age conditions and drawn ideally in barrier four for Shaun O’Donnell, is the firm Player favourite at $2.65.
“If he can switch off midfield or a touch worse I will have a huge smile on my face,” said Poletti.
Poletti expects Railway Stakes combatants Mr Moet, Playing God and Wall Street to pose the biggest threat to Luckygray, but also has high regard for Fuddle Dee Duddle.
“I just find three-year-olds who have a bit of class tend to run well in this race,” said Poletti.
“They have such a big pull in the weights.
“Mr Moet was a fantastic Railway winner and Playing God will look the winner 200 metres out if he gets his customary one-out, one-back position.”