The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The fairy tale winning streak of the world’s best horse Winx looks set to continue at Royal Randwick on Saturday after the defending champ drew ideally in barrier four for the Chipping Norton Stakes 2017.
The Chris Waller-trained daughter of Street Cry will jump the shortest-priced favourite in the $600,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) in over 50 years after coming up trumps in the barrier draw.
She comes off an effortless win in the Apollo Stakes and now chases the same early Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival double she achieved last season.
Hugh Bowman is safe to continue his association with the nine-time Group 1 winner despite a Hong Kong riding suspension and chases his fifth win in the Chipping Norton Stakes.
All of Bowman’s wins have been aboard Waller-trained milers with Danleigh (201), Shoot Out (2012-13) and Winx (2016).
Waller also took out the race in 2014 with Boban and along with Winx has five other acceptors in the Chipping Norton Stakes field this weekend.
The stable’s other best hope shapes-up as the imported Endless Drama in barrier seven with Tye Angland riding the Lope De Vega stallion second-up.
Endless Drama resumed on February 13 running third to his star stablemate in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) from the outside alley (12 of 12) and should finish in the money again.
Waller’s other Chipping Norton Stakes horses are: Preferment (8), Grand Marshal (5), Who Shot Thebarman (1) and Libran (8).
The majority of those are proven stayers heading towards a Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) run over the two miles on April 8.
Last year’s Sydney Cup runner-up Libran and the 2015 second placegetter Who Shot Thebarman are the best fancied in futures markets for The Championships’ clash at $13 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
While Winx drew to perfection in the Chipping Norton Stakes barriers in a gate that has produced two of the past three winners – Boban (4 of 8 in 2014) and Contributer (4 of 15 in 2015) – the John O’Shea-trained Hartnell had no such luck.
The Godolphin galloper, who has Brenton Avdulla coming aboard for the first time on Saturday, will have work to do from the outside alley (10) as he faces Winx for a sixth time.
The record in the Winx vs Hartnell saga sits at 5 – 0 in favour of the mare, including the Apollo Stakes first-up when the duo ran the quinella.
Chipping Norton Stakes form analysists have to look right back to 1993 to find the last winner to jump from a double-digit barrier – Kingston Bay (10 of 12).
O’Shea has also accepted for Magic Hurricane in barrier two, while reigning ATC Derby winning Tavistock four-year-old Tavago (6) and the spring’s upset Crown Oaks winning filly Lasqueti Spirit (9) round out the Chipping Norton Stakes line-up.
2017 Chipping Norton Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 7 (4:30pm) – 25/02/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||5x211123x2||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||10||59kg||116|
|2||110x4540x6||PREFERMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Joshua Parr||8||59kg||115|
|3||33x726910x||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||5||59kg||108|
|4||4x6527255x||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tim Clark||1||59kg||108|
|5||6x341112x8||LIBRAN (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||3||59kg||107|
|6||966x5340x5||MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE)||John O’Shea||Christian Reith||2||59kg||105|
|7||113061x00x||TAVAGO (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Tommy Berry||6||59kg||105|
|8||2x3915x0x3||ENDLESS DRAMA (IRE)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||7||59kg||104|
|9||111x1111x1||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4||57kg||132|
|10||x6538241x0||LASQUETI SPIRIT||Lee Curtis||Jay Ford||9||53kg||100|
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