The Queensland Winter Racing Carnival steps up a...
Triple Melbourne Cup winning hoop Damien Oliver is over in W.A. on the weekend and rates his ride in the 2017 Winterbottom Stakes Fuhryk as a good chance to win at a big price.
Oliver chases a second victory in the weight-for-age Perth Summer Racing Carnival feature having previously ridden the local Fred Kersley-trained favourite Marasco to victory in the 2006 Winterbottom Stakes for the punters.
He is out for an upset in this year’s edition of the Group 1 $1 million Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot Racecourse however aboard the Lindsay Park-trained double-figure hope Fuhryk.
Drawn in gate nine, which last produced a winner in Barakey (2012) for his first, four-year-old Star Witness mare Fuhryk is currently rated a $10 shot in the Winterbottom Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
It is her first trip across the country and she’s looking to atone for a last start ninth at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day in the Group 3 Maybe Mahal Stakes (1400m) under 59kg.
At weight-for-age the mare drops to 56.5kg on the weekend and Fuhryk is also likely to appreciate the drop back to 1200m boasting a nice record off five wins and a second from nine previous starts over the sprint distance.
Her other latest run was at Caulfield on Cup Day when the runaway two and a quarter length winner of the Listed Alinghi Stakes (1100m), while the Winterbottom Stakes will be just her second Group 1 test.
The first was as a three-year-old filly during the autumn over the mile where she failed to run out the distance when just under five lengths back 12th to Hey Doc in Flemington’s Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Oliver is hoping to amend for his close third in last weekend’s Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot aboard Tom Melbourne and bring his Group 1 tally up to an impressive 112.
He is chasing down the record of 119 currently held by George Moore and hopes Fuhryk will take him one step closer with an improved effort following her freshen-up.
“I’m hearing she’s freshened up well since her spring campaign, so if that’s the case, on her best form, you would give her a good chance in this race,” Oliver told Racing Victoria.
“I think on her best form she’s capable – she just probably hasn’t had a lot go right for her this preparation, a few interrupted runs and the like.
“We know what she’s capable of at her best, and if she performs at that level over in Perth, I’m sure she’s going to run a big race.”
Oliver was on another Lindsay Park mare in last year’s Winterbottom Stakes having to settle for second behind Takedown aboard subsequent Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) winning mare Sheidel.
“I would’ve thought Sheidel was probably a little better performed at the same stage of her career [than Fuhryk], but in saying that, the race was a little stronger last year too,” Oliver said.
“All things even, if Fuhryk’s there at her best and gets a nice run in the race, I’m sure she’s going to be more than competitive.”
Local Colonel Reeves Stakes winner State Solicitor ($2.90) and Lloyd Kennewell’s smart mare Viddora ($4.20) from Adelaide are the two best in Winterbottom Stakes betting.
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