2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes: Could Hartnell Beat Winx?

February 23, 2017

2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes: Could Hartnell Beat Winx?

John O’Shea has already conceded a Chipping Norton Stakes loss to Winx on Saturday but believes if Hartnell is ever going to get the better of the turf freak it will be in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2017.

Hartnell

Hartnell is looking down the barrel of a sixth loss to Winx in Saturday’s 2017 Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick. Photo: Steve Hart.

Six-year-old Godolphin import Hartnell has been beaten home five times in five runs behind Chris Waller’s superstar mare Winx ahead of a sixth edition of the rivalry at Royal Randwick this weekend.

The pair both race second-up in the weight-for-age $600,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) over a mile.

Winx is the country’s best miler and currently the highest-rated racehorse getting around and her odds-on price of $1.12 if Chipping Norton Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au reflect that.

She comes off a 14-straight winning streak and easily accounted for Hartnell when the pair met in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) last start.

Over a mile the daughter of Street Cry, who has won over $9.4 million in prize money during her stunning 24-start career to date, will be even more effective.

From a dozen runs over the 1600m Winx boasts an imposing record of eight wins and three seconds, including the Chipping Norton Stakes last autumn.

She also made history with taking out last season’s Doncaster Mile under 56.5kg, so over the same track and distance at weight-for-age on Saturday second-up with Hugh Bowman aboard from barrier four she looks unbeatable.

After the Chipping Norton Stakes Winx and Hartnell part ways third-up.

The glamour mare goes to Rosehill on March 18 – Golden Slipper Stakes Day – for the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) while Hartnell finally gets a bit of Winx relief in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at the same meeting.

Then the saga is back on for the Grand Final on April 8 during The Championships in the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).

This is where O’Shea believes Hartnell will have his best chance of finally getting one up over Winx, especially if the track is rain-affected, despite her having beaten him twice over the distance in the Cox Plate.

Hartnell ran fifth in the Moonee Valley classic in 2015 and second last year when Winx posted an historic eight length win in the Australasian weight-for-age championship.

That’s at the Valley though and Randwick presents a more even playing field according to O’Shea who chases his first Queen Elizabeth Stakes win.

“We might be able to get close to her. We’ve never met her on a day when I thought we could beat her,” O’Shea told The Daily Telegraph.

“If we got to 10 furlongs in the Queen Elizabeth at Randwick on a day when the track was rain affected, I think we can give Winx a competitive race.

“I don’t think that’ll come [until] we get to the Queen Elizabeth.

“Hartnell is a very effective horse at 10 furlongs to a mile-and-a-half, Winx is a very effective horse from six furlongs to a mile-and-a-quarter.

“He’s not effective at Moonee Valley, she’s dynamic there, she’s a champion and Hartnell’s just a really good horse.”

Waller meanwhile has prepared two previous Queen Elizabeth Stakes winners with My Kingdom Of Fife (2011) and Reliable Man (2013).

Futures Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2017 betting doesn’t rate Winx and Hartnell as closely matched as O’Shea is tipping.

Winx is already odds-on at $1.45 in the pre-field markets, while Hartnell is the next best in all-in betting at $10.

To back Winx to win the Chipping Norton Stakes 2017 and to access the best early Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting odds and offers head to Ladbrokes.com.au now!

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