Chris Waller’s superstar mare Winx is the headline nominee for the Chipping Norton Stakes 2016 that continues the elite level racing action of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival this Saturday at Randwick Racecourse.
This season’s $600,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) attracted a total of 15 nominations, Winx the big name entry for the weight-for-age feature.
The four-year-old daughter of Street Cry has won her six latest starts going back to May last year including the Cox Plate in the spring and the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick first-up on February 13.
She saluted for the punters as the odds-on favourite in the Apollo in a blistering late run and is shooting for more success and fighting for her third Group 1 victory in the Chipping Norton Stakes this weekend.
Her major assignment this time in is the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) during The Championships in April.
Waller has dominated the Chipping Norton Stakes results in the past half a decade saddling up four of the past five winners with Danleigh (2011), Shoot Out (2012-13) and Boban (2014) before the success of Contributer (2015) for Godolphin last year.
Contributer scored the Apollo Stakes – Chipping Norton Stakes double 12 months ago, Winx shooting for the same result this weekend to become the first mare since Tuesday Joy (2009) to take out the Group 1.
Waller has a very strong hand in the Chipping Norton Stakes nominations this season with Winx joined by five of her stablemates.
Among Waller’s contingent is also his 2014 Chipping Norton Stakes winner Boban, the Bernardini gelding to race second-up off a sixth in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) when beaten only two lengths on February 13.
The stable’s Sydney Cup winner Grand Marshal, four-year-old Zabeel stallion Preferment, European import Storm The Stars and proven stayer Who Shot Thebarman are the other Waller-trained hopes in the mix.
Last year’s winning trainer John O’Shea also multiple Chipping Norton Stakes entries shooting for back-to-back wins in the race.
O’Shea and Godolphin have entered returning The BMW winner Hartnell, Reset four-year-old Hauraki and Magic Hurricane.
Authorized five-year-old Hartnell finished runner-up to his stablemate in last year’s Chipping Norton Stakes beaten only a half-length in his Australian debut before going on to win the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 The BMW (2400m).
He rounded out his first prep down under with a Sydney Cup fourth over the two miles to Grand Marshal, but hasn’t finished better than fifth since having last been seen running 15th in the Melbourne Cup last November.
Hauraki is second-up if accepted this weekend, O’Shea’s progressive gelding having run a brave third to Winx in the Apollo Stakes as a $31 roughie in betting last time out.
Magic Hurricane also resumed in the Apollo, last October’s Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) winner at the track finishing nearly seven lengths away seventh.
Other notable hopes include last start Randwick winner over the mile Bull Point, Apollo Stakes fourth placegetter Dibayani and Mongolian Khan.
Murray Baker prepares New Zealand-trained Holy Roman Emperor stallion Mongolian Khan, the four-year-old back down under and first-up after his Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) win last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
He has had one previous start at Randwick winning the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) last April over Hauraki and has winning form over Saturday’s distance.
See below for the full Chipping Norton Stakes 2016 nominations, the final field and barriers out on Wednesday.
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2016 Chipping Norton Stakes Nominations
Randwick Racecourse – 27/02/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|2||565x890x01||BULL POINT||H||5||David Vandyke||99|
|3||x711x60138||CENTRE PIVOT||G||5||Peter Robl||99|
|4||2x0x3399x4||DIBAYANI (IRE)||G||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||105|
|5||1x075003x0||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||G||6||Chris Waller||106|
|6||41x98046x0||GUST OF WIND (NZ)||M||4||John Sargent||106|
|7||2114x4650x||HARTNELL (GB)||G||5||John O’Shea||110|
|9||5x143121x7||MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE)||G||6||John O’Shea||107|
|10||x5383482x0||MESSENE||G||7||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||104|
|11||1151x7431x||MONGOLIAN KHAN||H||4||Murray Baker||114|
|12||28x011907x||PREFERMENT (NZ)||H||4||Chris Waller||111|
|13||512132314x||STORM THE STARS (USA)||H||4||Chris Waller||110|
|14||2x758701x9||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||7||Chris Waller||110|