Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
Former Perth boy Damien Oliver is after a second win in W.A’s richest sprint this weekend jumping aboard the now Victorian-trained Sheidel in the 2016 Winterbottom Stakes.
Oliver, who is also now based in Melbourne, rode the Fred Kersley-trained Marasco (2006) to victory in the race saluting for the punters at Ascot Racecourse a decade ago.
This weekend he partners the Lindsay Park-trained Sheidel from barrier six in the 12-starter $1 million Group 1 Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) field.
The David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained daughter of Holy Roman Emperor is out to join Ortensia (2009 & 2011) and Magnifisio (2014) as the most recent Winterbottom Stakes winning mares to beat home the boys in the feature.
The five-year-old began her career in Perth and from 10 starts at the Ascot track enjoyed nine wins before being purchased by Victorian owner / breeder Rob Crabtree.
That’s an outstanding record at a course she returns to for the first time since her Listed Summer Scorcher (1000m) win back in January, but not one Oliver is relying solely on to get the job done in Saturday’s Group 1.
“It’s a great record to have on the track but it’s a pretty straightforward track for a horse coming here for the first time,” the hoop told Racing Victoria.
“We’ve seen quite a few of them [eastern state trained Winterbottom Stakes winners) over the past few years.”
Along with the aforementioned Tony Noonan-trained Ortensia the other non-local to steal the Winterbottom Stakes trophy in recent editions is Buffering who won in 2013 and 2015.
The best of the eastern state raiders in the Winterbottom Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au this summer are Malaguerra ($3.30) and Terravista ($3.50) drawn well in barriers one and five respectively.
Sheidel meanwhile is at $11 in Winterbottom Stakes betting to hand co-trainer David Hayes with his third win in the race following his previous victories as a solo trainer with Century God (1990) and Glory Hunter (2007).
The mare has won two of her past three starts in Melbourne, her latest win being in the Group 3 Begonia Belle Stakes (1100m) on Derby Day.
Last time out at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day she was far from disgraced crossing fifth to Saturday’s Winterbottom Stakes favourite Malaguerra in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
“I think she will run well,” Oliver added.
“She’s got a great record at the track in her previous life over here in Perth but she wouldn’t have met a field like this before in Perth and it’s quite a strong race with a few of the eastern-states horses coming over.”
Oliver, who is set to head back to Melbourne after the Winterbottom Stakes, will return to W.A. Saturday week having been booked to ride the Chris Waller-trained Mackintosh in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on December 3.
He rode Sniper’s Bullet (2009) to success in the Perth Summer Racing Carnival feature and is out to improve on a fourth aboard Mackintosh in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) on November 19.
To back your favourites in the remaining Perth Group 1 races over the next couple of weekends head to our No. 1 recommended bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au now.
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