All the rage is on Chris Waller’s returning Cox Plate winner Winx in Saturday’s Apollo Stakes 2016 at Royal Randwick Racecourse, but will the mighty mare salute for the punters first-up at her odds on price?
The feature race in Sydney on the weekend is the weight-for-age $250,000 Group 2 Optus Business Apollo Stakes (1400m), eleven hopefuls in the mix for this autumn carnival lead-up.
Sitting top of the Apollo Stakes odds at a short $1.50 for the win through Ladbrokes.com.au is Street Cry four-year-old Winx.
The star mare is a triple Group 1 winner including the Epsom Handicap – Cox Plate double in the spring, and from barrier one with Hugh Bowman aboard she is ticking plenty of Apollo Stakes boxes.
The other single figure hopes in Apollo Stakes betting this season are Gerald Ryan’s last start Expressway Stakes runner-up Solicit ($5.50) and the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Dibayani ($9) who has work to do from the outside alley.
So will Winx get the job done again or is there an Apollo Stakes upset on the cards from the likes of the Team Hawkes-trained Zabeel six-year-old Leebaz ($16) who blitzed a recent Rosehill trial in the wet or last April’s ATC Derby runner-up Hauraki ($34)?
#10 Solicit ($5.50)
There is no doubt Winx is the class horse in the Apollo Stakes field, but the fitness edge goes to Solicit who was a brave second to Our Boy Malachi in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) first-up. She will only improve off that run, where she failed to match the sprint of the winner fresh, and the step up to 1400m will suit. She has a strong second-up record (6-2-2-0) and is a multiple Group 3 winner who will get a gun run from gate four and give the favourite a run for her money.
#8 Winx ($1.50)
Winx is a wonder mare and deserving of her odds-on price first-up, but she’s short and could need the run. The track is one of her favourites (6-2-3-0) and she also has winning form over the distance. A first-up flyer previously with three wins from four other runs when resuming, it is hard to knock her. She has been quiet in a couple of trials however and if she gets caught up from the inside alley, she might just get nosed out of the win.
#2 Magic Hurricane ($26)
Plenty of value in all of the Place markets here including on this John O’Shea-trained Group 1 winner. No doubt the consistent six-year-old is suited to more distance, but he has won over 1400m before and last start won the Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m) at the track. Big odds and could really surprise.
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