Last year’s seven-length champion Zaaki returns...
The Perth punters are sniffing an upset in Saturday’s Group 1 sprint with the smart Simon Miller-trained mare Whispering Brook the early Winterbottom Stakes 2017 betting market mover.
The second of three elite level races of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival, there are four single-figure fancies in the latest markets on this year’s Group 1 $1 million Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot Racecourse.
State Solicitor is tipped as the one to beat, the Grant & Alana Williams-trained last start Colonel Reeves Stakes winner out from $2.90 to $3.10 at the top of the Winterbottom Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The gun Nicconi five-year-old is followed in betting by visiting Adelaide mare Viddora ($4.20) who comes off two competitive Group 1 Moonee Valley sprints, last year’s third placegetter Rock Magic ($6) and Anthony Freedman’s last start Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner in Victoria Santa Ana Lane ($8).
The notable firmer in Winterbottom Stakes betting meanwhile is Whispering Brook who has been heavily backed in from $21 to $13.
Drawn in gate eight with Jason Brown to ride, the four-year-old Hinchinbrook mare comes off a sixth to Saturday’s favourite State Solicitor in the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) at the track on November 18.
Whispering Brook was only three-quarters off the winner that run and in the start before she was just a half-length back for third in the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m).
She has a quality 50% winning strike rate at Ascot (8:4-0-1) and getting back to 1200m at weight-for-age on the weekend shapes-up as a genuine danger if she gets the early lead.
The other mare being kept safe in betting is the Lindsay Park-trained Fuhryk ($10), co-prepared by dual Winterbottom Stakes winning horseman David Hayes and ridden by the 2006 race’s winning hoop Damien Oliver.
The Star Witness four-year-old has a nice record over the Winterbottom Stakes distance boasting five wins and a second from nine 1200m runs and should appreciate coming back to the metres.
Her latest start was at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day when ninth in the Group 3 Maybe Mahal Stakes (1400m) under 59kg.
She is back to 1200m and back to 56.5kg on the weekend presenting as a genuine place chance after a brief freshen-up.
The last double-figure hopeful to salute in the Winterbottom Stakes was Hadabeclorka ($41 in 2010) when the race only held Group 2 status.
The three real roughies in the mix this year out for the boilover result are the Neville Parnham-trained Malibu Style ($31) back in Perth for the first time since last December, the rails-drawn Durendal ($41) coming off a third in the Colonel Reeves Stakes and Dream Lifter ($51) who is ultra-consistent when not suffering foot issues.
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