Veteran 10-year-old Ihtsahymn entered the...
Two of the early favourites for the Caulfield Cup in Melbourne this spring are dominating all-in betting on the Winx Stakes 2020 in Sydney for Saturday following nominations for the season’s opening Group 1 race.
The Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) kicks off elite level racing for the 2020-21 racing season at Royal Randwick on the weekend, the weight-for-age feature drawing a bumper 20 early entries.
Trainer Chris Waller boasts five previous wins in the event formerly run as the Group 2 Warwick Stakes including the trio of victories by the race’s now namesake Winx (2016-18).
He returns in 2020 chasing a sixth success with six nominations led by his Oaks winner Verry Elleegant.
The brilliant daughter of Zed debuts as a five-year-old in the Winx Stakes chasing her maiden first-up victory and looking to add to her $3.12 million in stakes.
Verry Elleegant had a sensational autumn that included Group 1 seconds in the Ranvet Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, as well as a Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) win at Rosehill.
Effective on all ground including Heavy tracks, the gun mare looks a danger fresh on the weekend with her 1400m record also solid (5:2-1-0).
She currently pays $5.50 in the pre-field Winx Stakes odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au and is also being kept safe in futures markets on the Group 1 $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) at $14 for the October 17 feature in Melbourne.
Waller’s other top fancy for the weekend’s feature race is Adelaide mare Funstar ($8.50).
The now four-year-old was last seen running a brave second as a filly against the older mares in Randwick’s Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) behind Con Te Partiro in the wet during ‘The Championships’.
Winner of the Group 1 Flight Stakes over the mile last October, first-up last time in she was second to Probabeel in the Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick before turning the tables in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) run on a Heavy (9) so gets conditions to suit fresh on the weekend.
The Waller nominees are rounded out by: Kolding, Mister Sea Wolf, Star Of The Seas and last start Missile Stakes third placegetter Imaging.
Current 2020 Caulfield Cup favourite meanwhile, Master Of Wine ($8) also leads the post-nomination odds on Saturday’s Winx Stakes at $5.
The German-bred son of Maxios is prepared by Hawkes Racing and is another proven wet-tracker who also boasts an excellent first-up record (5:2-2-1).
Lightly-raced for a six-year-old, Master Of Wine has had 15 starts to date and he won four on the trot during the autumn before his last start fourth to Addeybb in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on April 11.
Jamie Richards’ 10-time Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Melody Belle is in the mix looking to atone for her first-up sixth when failing to beat home any of her rivals as the beaten favourite in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) on August 8.
The Godolphin-raced Flit is the best of the Missile Stakes graduates heading into the Winx Stakes, the four-year-old having run second in her first-up run for the spring.
Another Kiwi in the mix is the Tony Pike-trained The Bostonian, a first-up specialist having won six of his seven previous runs fresh.
He defeated Savatiano, an impressive winner of last weekend’s Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield, in the autumn’s Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and was last seen finishing runner-up in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) in March.
The George Ryder Stakes winner Dreamforce, Cantala Stakes champ Fierce Impact and the aforementioned Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Queen Of The Turf winner Con Te Partiro are among the other key nominations.
2020 Winx Stakes Nominations
|Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp Rating|
|1||147x54533x||AVILIUS (GB)||G||7||James Cummings||114|
|2||122x13437x||BRANDENBURG (NZ)||H||4||John Sargent||106|
|3||x405x6161x||CON TE PARTIRO (USA)||M||7||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||113|
|5||x211x2348x||FIERCE IMPACT (JPN)||H||7||Matthew Smith||112|
|8||x20x8100x3||IMAGING (GB)||G||6||Chris Waller||108|
|9||111x45778x||KOLDING (NZ)||G||5||Chris Waller||110|
|10||x2311x114x||MASTER OF WINE (GER)||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||108|
|11||112x3346x6||MELODY BELLE (NZ)||M||6||Jamie Richards||115|
|12||6101x300x5||MISTER SEA WOLF (IRE)||G||9||Chris Waller||110|
|14||116162x||PRAGUE||C||3||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||90|
|16||9393x1720x||STAR OF THE SEAS (NZ)||G||6||Chris Waller||107|
|17||0x9358x12x||THE BOSTONIAN (NZ)||G||6||Tony Pike||116|
|18||410x42212x||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||M||5||Chris Waller||116|
|19||185310x39x||WOLFE (JPN)||G||6||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||99|
|20||26x1122x||ZEBROWSKI (NZ)||G||4||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||96|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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