Local hope Variation has his chances of winning Saturday’s Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth boosted after drawing in close at barrier four in the capacity field of sixteen plus four emergencies.

Black Heart Bart, above, is equal favourite for the Railway Stakes at Ascot. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Black Heart Bart, above, is equal favourite for the Railway Stakes at Ascot. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Top Perth rider Brad Parnham takes the ride again on Variation after being aboard at his last two starts and is giving the four year old a great chance of claiming the coveted Group 1 trophy.

“I’ll have every chance from that barrier,” Parnham told The West Australian.

“Hope-fully he’ll be good enough. I think he’s going to be a big shot.”

Variation has been placed at his only three Spring starts with Parnham in the saddle for a second to Railway Stakes rival Pounamu in the Group 3 $150,000 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on November 4 followed by a third to Properantes in the Group 3 $150,000 R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m) at Ascot last Saturday.

Early betting for the Railway Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Variations marked as a $13 chance while the other main local hope Scales Of Justice is currently sharing favouritism at $6.50 with five times Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart and the consistent Tom Melbourne.

The Chris Waller trained Tom Melbourne has drawn the rails and is coming off a last start second to stablemate Shillelagh in the Group 1 $1m Kennedy Mile (1600m) at Flemington on November 4 with Damien Oliver taking the mount.

The Darren Weir trained Black Heart Bart has drawn reasonably at gate eight in the original draw with regular rider Brad Rawiller in the saddle again and the seven year old is coming off a short freshen up after running fifth to Bonneval in the Group 1 $750,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on October 1.

Next in the betting at $8 is Supply And Demand who was out of luck at the barrier draw with gate eighteen but the on pace runner should have enough early speed to cross over from the wide gate and take up a prominent position for Josh Parr.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained five year old raced on the pace last start when second to Hellova Street in the Group 3 $200,000 TCL TV Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Kennedy Oaks Day during the 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Early betting for the 2017 Railway Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6.50 Scales Of Justice, Black Heart Bart, Tom Melbourne, $8 Supply And Demand, $12 Ulmann, $13 Sovereign Nation, Variation, $14 All Our Roads, $15 Silverstream, $18 Pounamu, $21 Cosmic Storm, Material Man, Royal Star (2nd Em) $26 Great Shot, Gatting, $51 Disposition, Observational, $61 Tradesman (1st Em), $126 Bollywood Blitz (3rd Em), $151 Tonkatuff (4th Em).