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Superlative mare Winx has failed to scare off rivals in the Chelmsford Stakes 2017 field at Randwick on Saturday with the Sydney feature attracting a healthy line-up of a dozen starters.
All the money will be on Chris Waller’s dual Cox Plate hero as Winx prepares for her 19th consecutive turf triumph second-up in the Group 2 $250,000 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).
The daughter of Street Cry is drawn to get the run of the race from barrier three with regular rider Hugh Bowman continuing his historic association with the brilliant six-year-old.
Winx resumed a fortnight back in the Warwick Stakes and after missing the kick, gave the race fans something to cheer for as she ran down stablemate Foxplay in the dying stages for the win.
She gets earmuffs added to her gear this weekend to ensure Waller and the punters don’t have to live through another nail-biter and will next head towards a title defence in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at the same track and distance on September 16.
Waller dominates the Chelmsford Stakes field not only with the odds-on favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au but also numbers-wise with Winx to take on five of her stablemates in the weight-for-age showdown.
It looks unlikely that any of the other Waller-trained hopefuls will come near the mare however with the contingent made up of returning stayers, the majority of which featured in Tuesday’s 2017 Melbourne Cup nominations.
Former Melbourne Cup placegetter Who Shot Thebarman is in line for a fourth shot at the ‘race that stops a nation’ and kicks off his prep in the Chelmsford Stakes from the inside alley with Christian Reith to ride.
The other Waller hopefuls, all of which will be better over more metres looking ahead, are: Libran (barrier eight), Antonio Giuseppe (barrier 10), Sarrasin (barrier four) and Life Less Ordinary (barrier 11).
Of those, the standout is six-year-old import Life Less Ordinary, the Wagga Cup runner-up coming off an eye-catching second over 1400m in a Benchmark 90 at the track on August 19.
Outside of the Waller chances the other headliner Chelmsford Stakes acceptors include the returning duo of Sense Of Occasion and Chocante drawn in barriers two and nine respectively.
The Kris Lees-trained Street Sense seven-year-old Sense Of Occasion has plenty of form over the distance (5-1-2-2) and races for the first time since winning the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane over the winter.
The veteran also has an excellent recent record at the Randwick track having finished third to It’s Somewhat in the autumn’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and third to Winx in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at the track on back-to-back Saturdays in April.
Chocante also kicks off his spring on Saturday, the Shocking five-year-old prepared across the Tasman by Stephen Marsh.
Last start in Brisbane the gelding scored a runaway upset defeating Single Gaze by over three lengths at Doomben in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m).
No doubt the mile of the Chelmsford Stakes will be short of the Kiwi galloper’s best, but Marsh is thrilled with the progress of Chocante over the break and is targeting the Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) on September 30.
Check out the full Chelmsford Stakes 2017 field and barriers below before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au for the best Winx odds!
2017 Chelmsford Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 7 (3:50pm) – 02/09/2017
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||4x12x3361x||SENSE OF OCCASION||Kris Lees||Corey Brown||2||59kg||113|
|2||13311255×4||RED EXCITEMENT||Gerald Ryan||Joshua Parr||5||59kg||108|
|3||7255x3642x||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Christian Reith||1||59kg||108|
|4||112x8746Px||LIBRAN (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||8||59kg||107|
|5||x5543321x8||ALLERGIC||James Cummings||Tim Clark||12||59kg||106|
|6||112x1240x5||ANTONIO GIUSEPPE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||10||59kg||103|
|7||121x37301x||CHOCANTE (NZ)||Stephen Marsh||–||9||59kg||101|
|8||3x1412x3x5||SARRASIN (GB)||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||4||59kg||98|
|9||1841x122x2||LIFE LESS ORDINARY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||11||59kg||92|
|10||1212652×57||HARPER’S CHOICE||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||6||58.5kg||89|
|11||111x1111x1||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||3||57kg||132|
|12||1x027530x0||LASQUETI SPIRIT||Lee Curtis||Jay Ford||7||56.5kg||102|
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