Chris Waller’s returning six-time Group 1 winner Winx headlines the Warwick Stakes 2016 nominations for the feature race at Royal Randwick this Saturday.
Racing NSW have extended nominations for this season’s $250,000 Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) until 11:00am (AEST) on Tuesday after just nine early entries were received for the weight-for-age showdown.
Waller dominates the numbers with five of the nine nominees including his champion daughter of Street Cry, five-year-old Winx having amassed over $6.67 million in prize money to date.
She was last seen taking out the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at the track in April, had a cruisy recent barrier trial at Randwick from the start of the month and has an imposing first-up record of four wins from five starts.
Winx is tracking towards a title defence in Melbourne’s Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in October, but first is out to dominate at home over a track she’s very familiar with having won five and placed second in three of her nine Randwick runs so far.
Waller has a host of other stable stars down to kick off their spring bids with a run against Winx in the Warwick Stakes including his Sydney and Melbourne Cup performers Grand Marshal and Who Shot Thebarman.
Grand Marshal won the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) in 2015 before a third in the same two mile feature this April gone, and will only improve on what he does first-up over the 1400m.
Who Shot Thebarman will also be crying out for more distance after his first run, the eight-year-old last seen running fourth in the Sydney Cup during ‘The Championships’.
Winner of the 2014 Auckland Cup, the Kiwi expat is best known for his third in that year’s Melbourne Cup behind Protectionist and second in the Sydney Cup last year.
Rounding out Waller’s possible Warwick Stakes contingent are his The BMW winning Zabeel stallion Preferment, and four-year-old Encosta De Lago stallion Vanbrugh who is also a Group 1 winner and a dual champ at Randwick from four runs at the track to date.
Outside of the Waller runners the other headline Warwick Stakes hopeful this year is the Kris Lees-trained Lucia Valentina.
The six-year-old daughter of Savabeel was last seen winning the autumn’s richest race – the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) by an impressive 2.3 lengths on April 9.
She has trialled twice since and has winning form over the distance, but the international performer will need to be at her best to give Winx a run for her money.
Boasting the fitness edge meanwhile are the Lindsay Park-trained Dibayani and Gary Portelli’s Rebel Dane both coming off first-up seconds into the race if accepted.
Seven-year-old Dibayani was runner-up Sooboog at Flemington in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) on August 6 in his first run since the ninth to Lucia Valentina in the Queen Elizabeth.
The import kicked things off for his first Australian campaign this time last year in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) over the distance in Melbourne for a nice third, and was also fourth to Winx first-up in the autumn over the 1400m at Randwick in the Apollo Stakes.
See below for the current Warwick Stakes 2016 nominations, before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au where first-time depositing players only need to quote the code BETBONUS to enjoy up to $500 in bonuses!
2016 Warwick Stakes Nominations
Randwick Racecourse – 20/08/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||399x4249x2||DIBAYANI (IRE)||G||7||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||105|
|2||003x08533x||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||G||7||Chris Waller||108|
|3||14x4650x5x||HARTNELL (GB)||G||6||John O’Shea||110|
|4||648915x41x||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||M||6||Kris Lees||116|
|5||1907x4110x||PREFERMENT (NZ)||H||5||Chris Waller||115|
|6||3x354094x2||REBEL DANE||H||7||Gary Portelli||107|
|8||701x90324x||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||8||Chris Waller||111|