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A luckless Melbourne campaign was a distant memory for West Australian champion Luckygray who returned to winning form in Perth on Saturday.

The five-year-old took out the Group Two Lee-Steere Classic (1400m) at Ascot in preparation for a clash later this month with a band of eastern states raiders.

Luckygray was the well-beaten favourite in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on September 1 after his fourth on a heavy track in the P B Lawrence.

Trainer Gino Poletti said the popular Luckygray had been suffering a virus and took him to Perth to prepare for the summer.

Poletti said his preferred option for Luckygray was the Railway Stakes (1600m) on November 24 but the other Group One on the program, the Winterbottom Stakes, was also an option.

Luckygray could face stiff opposition in either race with Epsom Handicap winner Fat Al to be aimed at the Railway and his Gai Waterhouse-trained stablemate Hallowell Belle to be aimed at the Winterbottom.

Waterhouse’s racing manager Bruce Slade told Racing Victoria both Fat Al and Hallowell Belle had come through their races at Flemington on Saturday in fine shape.

“Both horses have pulled up really well and will fly to Perth on Thursday,” Slade said.

“We are just going to try and forget Fat Al’s run in the Emirates and hope it was a one-off.

“He’s pulled up great this morning and we can’t explain the run.”

Fat Al finished 12th of the 16 runners in the Emirates Stakes (1600m) while Hallowell Belle was a slashing third in the other Group One at Flemington, the Patinack Farm Stakes (1200m).

Emirates runner-up Fawkner and fourth placed Yosei are also scheduled to leave Melbourne on the Perth bound plane this week to run in the Railway.

Yosei’s trainer Stuart Webb said Michael Rodd would maintain the ride on the triple Group One winning mare.

 
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