Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
Futures betting on Saturday week’s Winterbottom Stakes 2016 in Perth is now open and led by this year’s Darley Classic winner Malaguerra.
There were originally 57 nominations for the $1 million Group 1 Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes (1200m), due to light-up Ascot Racecourse on Saturday November 26.
Six early scratchings leave 51 possible runners vying for a spot in the Winterbottom Stakes field, released early next week, and battling for positions in the all-in markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Currently leading the pre-field Winterbottom Stakes odds at $3.20 for the win is now Peter Gelagotis-trained Malaguerra who has been in smart form this time in.
A five time winner from seven starts over the Winterbottom Stakes distance, the classy Magnus five-year-old was last seen scoring a narrow victory in Flemington’s Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) down the straight.
He now looks on track to head west for a shot at back-to-back elite level victories in the Winterbottom Stakes.
Following closely in the markets at $3.50 is another interstate galloper, the Joe Pride-trained Terravista who won the 2014 Darley Classic.
He has only won once since that Group 1 two years ago, but looked good in his race track return in Melbourne on November 3 when runner-up to Redzel in the Listed G.H. Mumm Stakes (1000m).
Just two of the other early Winterbottom Stakes entries are under double-figures with State Solicitor and Takedown both at a current quote of $7.
The best fancied of the local hopes, State Solicitor is prepared by Grant & Alana Williams.
A former jockey, Alana Williams rode the 2001 Winterbottom Stakes winner to victory (Fair Alert) and is now after success from outside of the saddle this Perth Summer Racing Carnival.
The stables best hope in the upcoming weight-for-age sprint, State Solicitor is an ultra-consistent Nicconi four-year-old who has won six of his seven career starts including both at Ascot in easier company over the 1200m as the odds-on favourite this season.
Takedown meanwhile is another four-year-old out to be the first Winterbottom Stakes champ of that age group since Ortensia (2009) and the first male four-year-old since Marasco (2006) a decade ago.
The son of Stratum is prepared in Sydney by Gary Moore and is three-from-six over 1200m.
His last run was on Oaks Day when 2.45 lengths away fifth to Rageese in the Group 3 Chatham Stakes (1400m), one he could improve on when back down to a genuine sprint distance in the Winterbottom.
The other major players in the early Winterbottom odds include Rock Magic, Sheidel and Vega Magic all paying $10.
Chris Gangemi’s Redoute’s Choice seven-year-old Rock Magic won the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1000m) two back at the track.
His latest run was a second to Vega Magic, narrowly beaten in the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m).
That race last produced a Winterbottom Stakes winner in 2012 when Barakey completed the double the Sean Casey-trained Lope De Vega four-year-old Vega Magic shoots for this summer.
Vega Magic has had five runs at Ascot for just the one defeat, while Sheidel boasts an outstanding nine-from-10 record at the track.
Lindsay Park’s Holy Roman Emperor mare comes off a strong Melbourne lead-up this spring including the fifth to Malaguerra in the Darley Classic.
If accepted in the Winterbottom Stakes field she’ll be racing at the track for the first time since her Summer Scorcher win back in January.
See below for the top early fancies in 2016 Winterbottom Stakes betting, markets provided by Ladbrokes.com.au.
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