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Jockey Hugh Bowman is full of confidence his superstar mount in Saturday’s George Ryder Stakes 2018 field Winx will pull out another near career best returning home to Rosehill Gardens on Slipper Day.
Twelve months ago the now 16-time Group 1 champion blitzed her rivals third-up by over seven lengths on a Heavy (10) Rosehill track in the Group 1 $1 million George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
She has had one less official run this time in, but plenty of galloping, and now chases a third straight George Ryder Stakes success on what is tipped to be another rain-affected course.
Australia’s highest-earning racehorse, Winx is racing at Rosehill under race conditions for the first time since her George Ryder win last autumn and Bowman can’t wait to get back aboard at the track she boasts a five-from-six record over.
“She does love it here at Rosehill. It’s her home track. She doesn’t get to race here too often,” he told Racing Victoria on Thursday.
“I didn’t think it when she won the first George Ryder, but I certainly feel like she was enjoying being on her home track last year, and it was one of her best performances in my opinion.
“They’re all pretty good [her wins] – but I thought it was right up there with the top two to three, and judging by the way she’s going, it wouldn’t surprise me to see her emulate that on the weekend.”
Winx beat seven rivals in the George Ryder Stakes 2016 and easily accounted for six last year, this time around coming up against only five brave challengers.
There is no shying away from the short Winx odds on offer, the champ at $1.10 through Ladbrokes.com.au to secure her 24th straight win and world record 17th Group 1 success on the flat.
The only other single-figure contender in the George Ryder Stakes betting markets this autumn is the three-year-old Godolphin galloper Kementari ($7.50).
Drawn one inside of Winx (6) with gate five, the Lonhro colt is after his fourth win this time in after taking out the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) last start.
Pierro (2013) was the last three-year-old George Ryder Stakes winner, James Cummings’ young contender on Saturday Kementari having a warm-up ahead of the Group 1 $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Following the George Ryder Stakes, Winx has all but been confirmed to head to Royal Randwick on April 14 for the Group 1 $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) before a possible Royal Ascot bid in England this June.
To back Winx in the George Ryder Stakes 2018 on Saturday at the right Rosehill racing odds online head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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