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Rosehill Guineas winner D’Argento has to overcome an awkward barrier draw if he is to pressure his super star stablemate Winx in the 2018 Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
James McDonald will be having his first race ride on D’Argento who has drawn barrier nine in the eleven horse Winx Stakes field while Winx with Hugh Bowman aboard, will get plenty of favours from gate five.
McDonald did get a feel of D’Argento when fourth in a 1000m Rosehill barrier trial on August 7 and trainer Chris Waller is expecting the new season four year old to show plenty of improvement during his 2018 Spring Carnival campaign.
“Good colt. From the barrier it makes it a little bit hard. I guess if he just comes back and find a little bit of cover as he likes to,” Waller said.
“James has been very happy with his work and his trials have been spot on and as I said he is a very good horse.”
“He has come back as a four year old stronger and he is a big improver in the Spring. He is a Group 1 winner and arguably he could have had a Doncaster next to his name had things gone right.”
“He’ll be running in Group Ones. I want to prove him over the 1400m and mile distance as although he won the Rosehill Guineas he is a lot sharper than that. Now that he is mature, you’ll see that this preparation.”
D’Argento broke through for a Group 1 win against the three year olds during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival in the Group 1 $600,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill and then had no luck from a wide barrier when fourth to Happy Clapper in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on day one off The Championships on April 7.
D’Argento is marked at $19 for the Winx Stakes on race eve with Ladbrokes.com.au while Winx is the $1.18 favourite to claim her twenty-sixth straight win and nineteenth Group 1 trophy in the race that has been named in her honour.
The James Cummings trained Kementari is the only other runner under the $10 mark and has firmed in slightly to be quoted at $6 in from $7.50 which was on offer early on Friday morning.
Winx will be having her first start back 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.”
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