Superstar mare Winx will face eight rivals in the 2017 George Ryder Stakes field this Saturday in Sydney as she looks to extend her winning streak to sixteen straight as part of the Golden Slipper Day action.
Due to run as Rosehill Race 5 at 2:45pm (AEDT), this season’s $1 million Group 1 China Horse Club George Ryder (1500m) is one of five Group 1 races on the card.
While the $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes is the day’s marquee race, Winx looks set to steal the show when she defends her George Ryder Stakes title.
The daughter of Street Cry chases an eleventh elite level win this weekend and jumps from the outside barrier with Hugh Bowman continuing his gun association with the champion.
Winx will jump odds-on in the George Ryder Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au and is out to become the shortest-priced favourite in the race’s history to salute, surpassing the current record holder Pierro ($1.35 in 2013).
Bowman has ridden three George Ryder Stakes winners to victory with Court’s In Session (2005), Danleigh (2010) and Winx (2016) last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Barrier eight however hasn’t produced a winner in over 30 years, but is similar to the gate seven draw Winx saluted from twelve months ago.
Waller has also accepted for Endless Drama (barrier four) and his last start Group 3 Liverpool City Cup winner McCreery (barrier six)
The other headliner in the George Ryder Stakes line-up drawn the rails is the Hawkes Racing-trained Chautauqua.
The dual TJ Smith Stakes champ is being tested over further distance races this autumn and is living up to expectations so far.
His latest run produced a brave second in the wet at Randwick in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and his performance on the Heavy (10) that day suggests he’ll run out a solid 1500m on Saturday.
Chautauqua tracks towards a run on April 1 in the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and currently pays $11 in futures betting to take it out.
Favourite in pre-field Doncaster Mile betting at $9 is Le Romain, the Canterbury Stakes winner also accepted for a George Ryder run against Winx this weekend.
Kris Lees’ flying Hard Spun four-year-old has won his past three starts including the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) in the spring and the Canterbury Stakes last time out over Chautauqua.
Third in that same lead-up, which last produced a George Ryder winner when Pierro completed the double in 2013, was the John O’Shea-trained Hauraki who also runs in the rematch on Saturday.
English hoop William Buick rides the Godolphin-raced Reset five-year-old from a good barrier two draw second-up with Hauraki returning to Rosehill where he has a strong record (3-1-2-0).
Hauraki chases his first win since the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) last October and is out to give trainer O’Shea his second George Ryder Stakes win after his success with Racing To Win (2006) just over a decade ago.
Darren Weir is also in the mix out to break his Sydney Group 1 drought with Japanese import Tosen Stardom who comes off a second to stablemate Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m).
Black Heart Bart was nominated for the George Ryder Stakes but not accepted, the classy six-year-old likely to race in Melbourne on Saturday instead in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes.
Check out the full George Ryder Stakes 2017 field and barriers below before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au for access to the best odds on Winx racing this weekend.
2017 George Ryder Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 5 (2:45pm) – 18/03/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weigth||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1311x47x32||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||1||59kg||118|
|2||7x22251x11||LE ROMAIN||Kris Lees||Glyn Schofield||7||59kg||114|
|3||22x12182x3||HAURAKI||John O’Shea||William Buick||2||59kg||112|
|4||x51709x4x2||TOSEN STARDOM (JPN)||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||9||59kg||110|
|5||x561019x77||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||3||59kg||107|
|6||x6251162x1||MCCREERY (GB)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||6||59kg||106|
|7||x3915x0x36||ENDLESS DRAMA (IRE)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||4||59kg||104|
|8||11x1111x11||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||8||57kg||132|
|9||132x147x4||SYLPHEED||Toby Edmonds||Kanichiro Fujii||5||54kg||72|