Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
The rescheduled 2017 Apollo Stakes takes place at Royal Randwick this afternoon and despite the delay the money is still coming in for returning superstar Winx.
The Chris Waller-trained champion mare defends her title in today’s $250,000 Group 2 The Star Apollo Stakes (1400m) first-up at the Monday meeting that was postponed from the weekend due to the heat wave in Sydney.
Winx’s latest run was the record-breaking eight length romp home over Hartnell in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), her second success in Australasia’s weight-for-age championship, at Moonee Valley back in October.
The Street Cry five-year-old faces a dozen rivals in the Apollo Stakes field after the withdrawal of the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained duo Savvy Nature and Global Glamour who race in other events on the card.
Winx jumps from a favourable barrier two draw with her regular rider Hugh Bowman in the saddle shooting for a 14th consecutive turf triumph.
Unsurprisingly the Randwick specialist and first-up flyer dominates Apollo Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
She has eased slightly out from $1.12 to $1.16 and can also be had at $1.80 in the Ladbrokes Winx Special (T&Cs apply / Max Bet $25).
The Apollo Stakes is set to run as Race 8 at 5:40pm (AEDT) giving the race fans time to get down to the track to watch the glamour mare in action after Monday afternoon knock-off.
Hartnell faces Winx for a fifth time in the Apollo Stakes, the John O’Shea-trained galloper paying $9 to finally get one over the seemingly unstoppable mare.
He races for the first time since a third in the Melbourne Cup and O’Shea is happy with how the Godolphin-raced six-year-old has returned.
“He’s come back in great shape. I couldn’t be happier with his attitude and his fitness level,” O’Shea said.
The stable also saddle-up $151 roughie shots Magic Hurricane and Queensland Oaks runner-up Ambience, who shares the sire Street Cry with Winx, in the race.
Behind Winx and Hartnell the other best in the Apollo Stakes odds paying $21 are the Lindsay Park-trained Dibayani and market mover Shiraz.
Corey Brown rides Shamardal seven-year-old Dibayani, the dual Group 1 runner-up coming off a second in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at the track in December.
Co-trainer David Hayes was hoping not to have to run the galloper against Winx this autumn after he finished fourth to her in last year’s Apollo and second in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) 12 months ago, but said scheduling made it impossible.
“We were going to try to dodge Winx but unfortunately the program gave us no choice,” he said.
“So we’re hoping we can run a place.
“Two of his placings have been behind Winx, so there’s a lot of horses that can’t get near her.”
Shiraz meanwhile is prepared by Wyong’s Kim Waugh, the Zariz seven-year-old second to Ecuador in the Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m) at the track and distance on January 21.
Check out the latest Apollo Stakes 2017 betting markets below and follow the links to Ladbrokes.com.au to back Winx for the win at the best odds!
2017 Apollo Stakes Odds
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