Jockey Damien Oliver will ride Mackintosh in the Railway Handicap in Perth.
Jockey Damien Oliver will ride Mackintosh in the Railway Handicap in Perth. JULIAN SMITH

Oliver's hometown hopes rest on Mackintosh

RACING: Despite a horror alley, Damien Oliver fancies his chances of at last winning his hometown's major race, the Group 1 Railway Handicap (1600m).

Oliver's mount in the Perth feature, the Chris Waller-trained Mackintosh, is drawn in barrier 16, but could come in as much as three gates depending on whether the emergencies get a run.

"I think he's got a terrific chance. He's been in really good form,” Oliver told racing.com.

"Drawn a little bit awkwardly, but he'll come in a few with the emergencies inside of him.”

The winner of six of his 11 starts, former New Zealand galloper Mackintosh has had only the three runs this campaign, winning the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill before finishing second in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and a close-up fifth in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Derby Day.

Before the barrier draw, Waller had rated Mackintosh the best chance of his two runners in the race, ahead of last year's winner Good Project.

He has since switched that order around, with Good Project beautifully drawn in gate seven, but says both gallopers need only a little luck in the running.

With the first turn only about 250m from the starting gates, Oliver will have to do some nifty work to put Mackintosh in a winning position, but he has plenty of motivation.

The former WA champion apprentice has won just about every major race in Australia, but the Railway has eluded him despite his annual visits for the Perth summer carnival.

Not surprisingly, the three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey is taking the positive approach.

"I don't think he's been overtaxed during the spring, and coming off a good last start in the Cantala ... it's important, you want a horse who hasn't been overtaxed during the spring,” he said.

"He's got a nice weight, so I think he's a good chance.”

Mackintosh is listed between $6 and $7 with corporate bookmakers.



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