TESTA ROSSA gelding Ranger has been installed as pre-post favourite to win the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) after cruising to victory in the Group 2 WATC Lee Steere Stakes on Saturday.

The Grant Williams trained galloper remains unbeaten this campaign with three straight wins under the belt as the Perth carnival of racing begins to heat up.

Ranger defeated Waratah’s Secret in a fitting finish to the race named after one of the greats of Australian racing.  Owner-breeder Bob Peters paid tribute to Waratah’s Secret at the presentation noting the runner-up had to concede 7kg to Ranger.

Peters and his wife Sandra are going to be a force in the Railway Stakes with promising galloper Rafferty (More Than Ready) also heading for the million-dollar mile on November 19.

Ranger proved his staying worth this time last year with a solid win in the WATC St Leger Stakes (2100m) before being tried in the Perth Cup in which he started favourite but was unplaced after a torrid run facing the breeze.

Peters has won three Perth Cups starting with Field Officer (Old Spice) in 1993 and following up with Crown Prosecutor (Grand Lodge) in 2005 and Lords Ransom (Jeune) in 2010.

“Ranger is a very relaxed horse,” Peters explained.  “Testa Rossa is best known for his sprinters like Ortenaia and Rostova but he has also sired South Australian Derby winner Testafiable.”

“Ranger had more than six months off after the Perth Cup and has clearly come back in fantastic shape,” said Vinery’s Adam White.

”He is a very adaptable horse who performs under Handicap and weight-for-age conditions and has won from 1300 up to 2100m.

”A mile race in two weeks time is going to be ideal for him.”

Ranger’s dam Marrich Bay has now foaled three stakes winners following Hardrada (Marooned)  who won the Lee Steere Stakes in 2002 before going on to add two Winterbottom’s and a Railway Stakes and Storm Alert (Metal Storm).