Robbie Griffiths’ smart Cranbourne-based mare Angelic Light is the early Winterbottom Stakes 2014 betting market mover and punters’ pick for the sprint showdown in WA this afternoon.
The five-year-old daughter of Holy Roman Emperor makes her Perth Summer Racing Carnival debut in the classic $750,000 Group 1 Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes (1200m), running as Ascot Race 7, and is well-liked to come away with the trophy.
One of five eastern state raiders in the Winterbottom mix this year, Angelic Light has been targeted for this race with Griffiths opting not to run her on Emirates Stakes Day in the Darley Classic.
Her latest start then was at Moonee Valley on October 24 where, after beating him home earlier in the season when finishing a nose in front to win the Group 2 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) on September 6, she finished a devastatingly close second behind the world’s highest rated sprinter Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).
Today Damien Oliver retains the ride and the two will jump from an ideal barrier four draw after Adam Durrant withdrew Ysmael (barrier three) from the Winterbottom Stakes field.
Favourites have an ace record in the Winterbottom Stakes with six saluting in the past 10 years including the past three on the trot with: Ortensia (2011), Barakey (2012) and Buffering (2013).
Angelic Light is tipped to make that four straight in favour of the punters then firming in from $3 to $2.90.
She is followed in the markets by last year’s narrow runner-up Moment Of Change who has firmed in from $4.40 to $4.20 to go one better than his second to Queensland’s Buffering 12 months ago.
The Peter Moody-trained multiple Group 1 winning six-year-old comes into this year’s race fresh and ready to fire from barrier three with Luke Nolen in the saddle.
Also at single figures is then the John O’Shea-trained Sidestep representing Godolphin from barrier two with Nash Rawiller riding.
Donning the blinkers here, as he did for a nice gallop earlier in the week at the track, the Group 2 winning Exceed And Excel four-year-old out to improve on an eighth to Terravista on November 8 in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington.
On the drift then is the best fancied of the local Perth horses in the Winterbottom this year, Magnifisio out from $7 to $8.
The Jim Taylor-trained Magnus mare comes into the race in flying form having won the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago, a race that has produced a number of livewire chances for today’s Railway Stakes.
There’s been steady money meanwhile for Shining Knight ($11) to go back-to-back despite an awkward gate, William Pike staying on the ultra-consistent Grant Williams-trained Blackfriars gelding following a win in the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) here on November 4.
The rest of the competitors are then on the drift as well with the likes of Jason Warren’s former Group 1 The Galaxy winner Bel Sprinter ($11 out to $12), the Phillip Stokes-trained Adelaide raider Éclair Big Bang ($13 out to $14) and Colonel Reeves runner-up Testamezzo ($15 out to $16) the next best in betting.
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