After two disappointing recent runs in Victoria during the spring, former Sydney sprinter Ego’s Dare will attempt to return to form with a run in Perth’s 2011 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot this Saturday debuting for their new trainer Grant Williams.
Formerly prepared by Rosehill-based horseman Gerald Ryan, Hussonet seven-year-old Ego’s Dare was one of 14 gallopers accepted for the $500,000 Group 1 Burswood Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) when final fields for Saturday’s Perth Summer Racing Carnival meeting were released on Monday.
A winner of six of their 31 career starts to date, veteran seven-year-old Ego’s Dare was last seen finishing ninth in a 1400 metre handicap at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day, November 5.
Before that they were beaten five lengths when 10th to Sister Madly in the Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby Day.
Emirates Stakes Day was their final run for Ryan, the horse transferred to their new home in WA soon after.
While it has been a long time between drinks for Ego’s Dare who hasn’t won a race since the Listed Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in April of last year, their new trainer is quietly confident of a strong showing on Saturday.
Williams is hoping that beach work and a change of scenery will be the key to getting Ego’s Dare back to black-type form.
“We only got him last week so we don’t know much about him,” Williams admitted.
“We’ve taken him to the beach to freshen him up and keep him happy.
“He’s a nice horse and Alana (Williams’ wife) says he goes good.
“She’s usually on the mark.”
Williams will also be represented in the Winterbottom Stakes this year by his in-form Hurricane Sky mare Avante who comes off a smart first-up win in the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) at the track on November 1.
Avante is rated around $21 in the Winterbottom markets at Luxbet.
The field and betting for the sprint showdown is firmly led by Craig Williams’ ride Ortensia who sits at the top of the Luxbet Winterbottom Stakes odds at a quote of around $2.40.
Ego’s Dare, who will be ridden by Shaun O’Donnell, is one of the longer-priced outsiders installed at around $30 to win.
The official 2011 Winterbottom Stakes barrier draw will be taken at a function at Burswood Casino at 5pm Perth time this evening.
Once barriers are out Luxbet will release their updated odds on the Perth feature, so make sure you have your account open with Australia’s leading online bookmaker.