A 13-horse field of sprinters has been accepted to face off in the 2013 Winterbottom Stakes at Perth’s Ascot Racecourse this Saturday, November 23.
Final acceptances for the two Group 1 races of the weekend were taken by Perth Racing today, including those for the $500,000 Group 1 Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes (12000m).
Heading the field is Rob Heathcote’s Brisbane galloper Buffering who will be ridden by their regular rider Damian Browne while on the hunt for their third Group 1 win on the trot.
After many, many attempts the son of Mossman finally broke through at elite level two back winning the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley.
They made it a Group 1 double last start at Flemington then with their smart VRC Sprint Classic victory pushing them to top spot in the futures Winterbottom Stakes odds.
This will be their first trip west but Heathcote is unconcerned having taken the now six-year-old from Queensland to Victoria for the past four spring carnivals.
The next best fancied hope for the Winterbottom is then the locally-trained Barakey who won the race 12 months ago.
In a scintillating showdown between the raider and the native, the Winterbottom is also sure to be a speed test right from the jump with both Buffering and Barakey known frontrunners.
Jim Taylor’s defending champ spent most of the their time since March on the sidelines with a knee injury sustained when 11th in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) in Melbourne.
That remains the Key Business gelding’s sole career defeat however with Barakey returning with a bang at Ascot last month to post their 12th win from 13 starts in the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) as the odds-on favourite.
Prince Of Wales Stakes runner-up Power Princess is also backing up in the Winterbottom for Simon Miller, the veteran mare having run second to Barakey in this race 12 months ago after winning that year’s Prince Of Wales.
Along with Buffering the other big name interstate visitors this year in the sprint showdown are Peter Moody’s former Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner Moment Of Change and the Tony Gollan-trained Spirit Of Boom.
It’s been a long time between drinks for Moody’s Barley A Moment five-year-old as Moment Of Change hasn’t won a race since their Group 1 success in September last year.
They have however been racing consistently at the top level in Victoria including their fourth to Buffering in the Manikato and their last start third in the VRC Sprint.
The other Queenslander in the field, Spirit Of Boom, hasn’t finished worse than fourth since May.
After a recent win in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) the son of Sequalo was last seen running second to Fontelina with a big weight (59kg) from an awkward gate (13 of 15) in the Group 2 Yellowglen Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day at the start of the month.
The best of the rest are then Trevor Andrews’ last start Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes winner over the 1100m here on Melbourne Cup Day The Rising and the Neville Parnham-trained Snitzel gelding Checkpoint.
Checkpoint has won five of their 14 career starts and will be third-up for the season here off two good runs.
First-up they were defeated under a length when third to Barakey in the Prince Of Wales Stakes, after which they went down a mere nose to Conservatorium in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) on November 9.
They will be joined in the field by stablemates Excelorada and Dominating for Parnham.
Notable non-acceptors meanwhile include Smoko and Better Than Ready.
See below for the full Winterbottom Stakes 2013 field with the barrier draw due for release on Tuesday.
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2013 Winterbottom Stakes Final Field
Ascot Racecourse – 23/11/2013
|1||BUFFERING||58.5||m122||DAMIAN BROWNE||ROB HEATHCOTE|
|2||SPIRIT OF BOOM||58.5||m112||NICHOLAS HALL||TONY GOLLAN|
|3||MOMENT OF CHANGE||58.5||m113||LUKE NOLEN||PETER MOODY|
|4||BARAKEY||58.5||m112||JASON BROWN||JIM TAYLOR|
|5||WATERMANS BAY||58.5||m95||GLENN SMITH||PETER & MATT GIADRESCO|
|6||BEACH EXPRESS||58.5||m98||–||ADAM DURRANT|
|7||EXCELORADA||58.5||m98||STEVEN PARNHAM||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
|8||TIGER PETE||58.5||m90||JARRAD NOSKE||STEVE WOLFE|
|9||THE RISING||58.5||m94||–||REVOR ANDREWS|
|10||CHECKPOINT||58.5||m92||BRAD PARNHAM||NEVILLE PARNHAM|
|12||SHINING KNIGHT||58.5||m77||WILLIAM PIKE||GRANT WILLIAMS|
|13||POWER PRINCESS||56.5||m110||PETER KNUCKEY||SIMON A. MILLER|