If you look at the 2013 Winterbottom Stakes betting markets for this Saturday there appears to be only two horses in the race, but top local trainer Neville Parnham is hoping his trio can give the favourites Buffering and Barakey a run for their money.
Running as Ascot Race 7 at 4:05pm (local) this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) is being spruiked as a speed battle between Rob Heathcote’s dual Group 1 winning Queensland Buffering ($2.20) and the defending champ Barakey ($4.40).
While Buffering’s ace lead-up form winning the Manikato Stakes – VRC Sprint Classic double, and the Jim Taylor-trained Barakey’s undefeated 12 from 12 record in WA make them the ones to beat, Parnham will be out for an upset.
He saddles up three hopefuls with Checkpoint ($26), Dominating ($41) to be ridden by Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver and $101 roughie Excelorada.
Of the stablemates Checkpoint, a Brad Parnham mount in barrier 10, is the best fancied following some nice form this time in.
The Snitzel gelding was beaten under a length first-up on October 26 when third behind Barakey in the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m).
Last start on November 9 they came even closer to their maiden black type victory when a nose away second to the Gary Kennewell-trained Conservatorium, a $15 chance for the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) on Saturday, in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m).
It’s a nice lead-up and one that suggests they can finish better than their $26 price indicates.
“Checkpoint has come back in spectacular form and is unlucky not to have won one of the bigger races,” Parnham told Racing and Wagering WA.
As for his other hopes Parnham believes Snitzel four-year-old Dominating is better than their first-up seventh to The Rising, when beaten four lengths, in the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m).
“Dominating had no luck first-up and hopefully can get at them late from the back of the field,” he said.
But his real rough pick is Exceed And Excel six-year-old Excelorada, eighth in the Colonel Reeves last start, who shouldn’t be at triple figures according to their trainer after a stellar trial this week.
“Excelorada’s track work on Tuesday was super and indicated he was getting to the form required,” he said.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if Excelorada ran over the top of them.”
Whether you’re sticking with the favourite Buffering, backing Barakey to go back-to-back or tipping an upset Winterbottom Stakes result from one of Parnham’s three make sure you get the best prices by betting online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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