A capacity field of Stradbroke Handicap hopefuls...
Headline jockey Kerrin McEvoy will ride Australian Oaks winner Unforgotten when she takes on her high profile stablemate Winx in the 2018 Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The Chris Waller trained Unforgotten will be having her first run back since winning the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 14, day two of The Championships.
Hugh Bowman steered Unforgotten to victory in the Australian Oaks but he will remain with Winx in the Winx Stakes, giving McEvoy the opportunity to re-unit with the Fastnet Rock mare.
McEvoy has had one race ride on Unforgotten for a second to Hiyaam in her final Australian Oaks lead up run in the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 31.
Waller had originally aimed Unforgotten towards the Group 1 $5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 but is also considering targeting the Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on September 29.
“So we could take an unorthodox approach and perhaps go through the Epsom because we know she is so strong at 2400 metres,” Waller told racing.com.
Winx will be having her first start back in the Winx Stakes since claiming her eighteen Group 1 win and her twenty-fifth victory on the trot in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 14, day two of The Championships, and has pleased trainer Chris Waller in her lead up which included two Rosehill barrier trials.
“I can’t fault her,” Waller told AAP.
“She is a happy horse, a fit horse and seems like she always does.
“She is not a complicated horse to train.
“It would be a great honour to win the race named after her.”
The Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 27 will be Winx’s main 2018 Spring Carnival goal to try to make it four wins in a row after winning the weight for age championship for the last three years in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Winx is at the short odds of $1.15 for the Winx Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au while Unforgotten is listed at $34.
Early betting for the 2018 Winx Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.15 Winx, $12 D’Argento, $16 Ace High, Alizee, $26 Cabeza De Vaca, $34 Luvaluva, Showtime, Single Gaze, Unforgotten, $101 Religify, $201 Classic Uniform, Invictus Prince, Libran, $301 Oriental Runner.
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