The airborne Kelly Schweida-trained...
Winx is back and is set to jump at her most generous odds since facing a mud track in the autumn when the unparalleled mare races at Flemington Racecourse for the first time in Saturday’s Turnbull Stakes 2017.
Punters somewhat shied away from Chris Waller’s magnificent winning machine back in March when the prospect of defeat was considered with Winx racing on a Heavy (10) Rosehill track in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
There was nothing to fear however and the “generous” Winx odds of $1.20 were quickly paid out with the daughter of Street Cry running off for a seven length romp home over multiple Group 1 winners Le Romain and Chautauqua.
After three Sydney wins this preparation, Winx heads south on Saturday and faces a new challenge, defeating the straight Flemington track in the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Again there is a bit of an unknown with rival horseman Darren Weir saddling-up his brilliant last start Makybe Diva Stakes winner Humidor ($4.50), an in-form horse Winx has never raced against.
He thrashed the reigning Turnbull Stakes winner Hartnell by over three lengths in that Flemington Group 1, recording his second elite level at the track after impressing in the autumn’s Australian Cup (2000m).
While the punters are starting to come for Humidor to score the huge upset win and end the winning streak of Winx, which she is out to extend to 21 on the trot this weekend, camp Waller remain unfazed.
The six-year-old presents in perfect condition and has been killing her lead-up gallops at Flemington in flying time, erasing any fears about how she will handle the horse.
All that’s left for Saturday then is to take advantage of the drifting price on Winx in Turnbull Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, cheer Humidor home for second and lock in the horse crossing third in the trifecta.
#2 Winx ($1.20)
Winx isn’t just the best horse in this race but in the country and despite those that are tipping the fairy tale to end, she is too good for anything going around right now including the danger Humidor. There’s set to be a hot speed on in the race from the two Lloyd Williams-raced runners and that will suit Winx, who chases win number 21 on the trot and who is out to continue her brilliance at this distance. There was a brief moment of distress for the Winx-backers in the George Main last time out when she took a while to really get going, but Waller knows how to save his mare for the big ones and that will be next-up in the Cox Plate. She looked like wanting 2000m last time out and she gets that here. Bowman rides this horse like nothing else, she knows how good she is and just likes to play with the fans. Flemington question mark? Hardly. The track work here has been professional as ever. Wins.
#1 Humidor ($4.50)
Second best horse in the Turnbull Stakes field, finishes second. This is his first encounter with Winx and like Hartnell before him, he will soon find out what she’s all about. His two Group 1 Flemington wins have been truly impressive and he was outstanding getting over Hartnell and Black Heart Bart by the big margin in the Makybe Diva Stakes. Improves again off that getting to 2000m, but despite all the statistics that stack up for him, he can’t beat Winx. Something would have to go really wrong for her not to win, especially over 2000m at set weights plus penalties.
#6 Sir Isaac Newton ($61)
You can only back one-two for place bets in this seven-starter field, but there’s still the trifecta to go. Nice price on this Robert Hickmott-trained import and the stable has prepared two previous Turnbull Stakes winners. Damien Oliver on again, is third-up and looking to improve on a sixth in the Naturalism Stakes over this distance. Can improve sharply and finish top three, albeit a long way back, after an on-speed ride.
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