The Railway Stakes is a Group 1 horse race held in Western Australia each year. This open handicap event is the feature race of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival, where it is hosted alongside the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes. Raced over 1600 metres, the Railway Stakes has a long history in Australian racing and has been held at Ascot Racecourse since 1894.
The inaugural Railway Stakes was run over a distance of 12 furlongs, with this length the equivalent of roughly 2400 metres. This longer distance was used between 1894 and 1925, changing to a shorter race from 1926. The Railway Stakes was raced over 8 furlongs between 1926 and 1973, which is the same as roughly 1600 metres. The Railway Stakes became a 1500 metre race in 1974 and grew slightly to a 1600 metre race in 1984, the distance it retains today.
This event became a Group 1 race in 1979 after graduating from Principal Race status. The Railway Stakes is often won by local Perth horses, due to the hot conditions and the long distance seperating Perth from the rest of Australia. However, with $1 million up for grabs, this event has also been won by some outstanding interstate horses over the years.
Two of the biggest names to have won the Railway Stakes are Better Loosen Up in 1990 and Northerly in 2000, with Miss Muffet winning for two years in 1987 and 1988 and Tudor Mask also winning twice in 1968 and 1969. In recent years, winners of the Railway Stakes include Covertly in 2005, Belle Bizarre in 2006, El Presidente in 2007, Gilded Venom in 2008, Sniper’s Bullet in 2009, Gathering in 2010, Luckygray in 2011, and Mr Moet in 2012.