According to both the bookies and her trainer Greg Eurell drawing the far outside barrier for Saturday’s Chipping Norton Stakes 2012 at Warwick Farm has done Pinker Pinker’s chances of becoming a dual Group 1 winner little harm.
The headline race in Sydney this weekend, the $350,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) originally attracted a field of nine gallopers with Cox Plate winning mare Pinker Pinker coming up with gate nine.
There are now just eight horses in contention following the early scratching of #7 Mr Make Believe from the Peter Moody stables, meaning classy Reset four-year-old Pinker Pinker will come into barrier eight of eight.
After a number of eye-catching runs throughout the spring including a second to Secret Admirer, who also races at Warwick Farm on Saturday in the $100,000 Listed Wiggle Stakes (1400m), Pinker Pinker hit the big time with her upset success in the Group 1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.
Following a spell she resumed on Blue Diamond Day, February 25, with a first-up second to New Zealand champ King Mufhasa in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
“Her Futurity run was very good and it took a race-fit horse to beat her,” Eurell said.
“Fitness-wise, we are pretty close to the mark leading into this race and second-up over a mile is perfect for her.”
Despite her first-up defeat and barrier eight for her mile assignment on Saturday, Eurell has full confidence his stable ace has the ability to overcome and win.
“Regardless of the size of the field you always prefer to draw in a touch,” Eurell said.
“Nine out of nine is not ideal but it’s not disastrous and I’m sure once I’ve had a chat to Blake (Shinn – jockey) we’ll be able to work out a game plan.
“We won’t divert from what we believe is her comfortable pattern.
“I’m not too concerned about the draw.
“With that amount of horses, even though smaller fields can sometimes be tricky, if they roll along a bit it should give her a chance to get into an OK spot.”
It seems the bookies agree with Pinker Pinker installed at the top of the early Chipping Norton Stakes odds around the country paying around $2.70.
If successful Pinker Pinker will become the first horse since Carbon Copy (1949) to take out the rare Cox Plate – Chipping Norton Stakes double in the same season.
1973 Cox Plate winner Gunsynd came close when he finished a narrow second to Apollo Eleven in that season’s Chipping Norton.
She will also break a 20-year hoodoo for Victorian-trained gallopers in the race, Lee Freedman’s Super Impose the last Chipping Norton Stakes winner to come out of Melbourne, and become just the second mare in the past 25-years to take out the feature.
Her main danger is perceived to be the Chris Waller-trained Shoot Out (approx. price $3) who also comes off a last-start second when runner-up to Rain Affair in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill.
Other notable runners in the Chipping Norton Stakes 2012 include another of Waller’s runners Danleigh coming off a third in the Apollo and the John Thompson-trained Group 2 winner Trusting.
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