There is really no question that Winx will win the George Ryder Stakes 2017 on Saturday, but there are still the placings to decide.
There has surprisingly been a slight ease on the Winx odds at Ladbrokes.com.au in the latest markets for the $1 million Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
Chris Waller’s five-year-old has won her last fifteen straight races including a smart Heavy track success in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) last time out.
She did the double she’s out to complete on Saturday last autumn and now we know how well she goes in the mud, there’s little doubt the weather won’t stop her from continuing the gun winning streak on Golden Slipper Day.
Winx is out from $1.16 to $1.18 in the George Ryder Stakes odds but is still easily the best thing going in betting with the only other single-figure fancy being Chautauqua ($7.50).
Waller knows he has the mare rock hard fit and jockey Hugh Bowman will ride her confidently again from the now outside barrier (eight) with the scratching of Tosen Stardom.
“The Ryder is a good race every year, I think it is one of the best races through the whole Sydney autumn and this is no different,” Bowman told The Daily Telegraph.
“It’s going to be a good test for the mare — but it is going to be a good test for them [her rivals] too.”
The numbers are low but the inclusion of Chautauqua and the last start Canterbury Stakes winner Le Romain ($11) in the field means the quality is there for Winx to beat.
“The challenge will come one day and I’m sure she’ll be in for the fight when it does come. It could very well be in the Ryder,” Waller, who chases his fifth win in the race, said.
“It’s bringing together a lot of in-form horses and great to see.
“We are certainly not running away from any challengers — we never have and never will. It’s good to see so many headline horses in there.”
So will the mighty mare win and if yes, what horses round out the George Ryder Stakes trifecta?
Read our comprehensive 2017 George Ryder Stakes Form Guide & Betting Preview for all the race facts and stats then see below for our tips in the weight-for-age autumn clash.
#8 Winx ($1.18)
She is the world’s best turf horse and one day she could be beaten, but it won be in this race on Saturday. Exact same prep as last autumn and ticks every box. Just six rivals to beat and none are as good as here at weight-for-age at her pet track (5-4-0-0). The daughter of Street Cry is unbeaten over the metres and continues to race in that incredibly easy fashion. Waller and Bowman are both confident and the two length win on a Heavy (9) at a mile last start means track conditions don’t even come into play when doing the form. Waller has four wins in this race since 2010 and Winx will make it five on Saturday.
#2 Le Romain ($11)
Like the price on this very good Kris Lees-trained Hard Spun four-year-old. He swims in the mud with an imposing Heavy track record (3-2-1-0) so the wetter the better for him in this. Last start on a Heavy (10) won the Canterbury Stakes, which has produced three of the past six George Ryder winners. Chases the double Pierro (2013) did a few years back and is in last year’s winning barrier (7). Second best Place Rate of the field (87%) behind Winx (88%) and over this distance can edge out Chautauqua – who might be the danger after all.
#6 McCreery ($31)
Huge price for a Waller-trained stablemate to end the Winx fairy tale. Don’t think we’ll see this import steal the spotlight, but think he is overs to finish in the money. Last start win first-up at Randwick on a Heavy (9) in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) was good. Does wet tracks and strips fitter for this.
Back Winx to win the George Ryder Stakes 2017 at the hottest odds at Ladbrokes.com.au now.