The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
There were no surprises in the George Ryder Stakes 2017 results at Rosehill Racecourse this afternoon, the world’s best horse on turf Winx saluting in her Golden Slipper Day race ahead of a possible Royal Ascot trip to Europe.
Lining-up against just five rivals in this autumn’s Group 1 $1 million George Ryder Stakes (1500m), the Chris Waller-trained daughter of Street Cry made history with a third straight victory in the weight-for-age showdown with a comfortable win over Group 1 winners Happy Clapper (2nd) and Kementari (3rd).
The Winx odds got out to a seemingly generous $1.16 pre-jump, the same price she started at for her historical third Ladbrokes Cox Plate win in the spring.
The easing price on Winx to win seemed crazy considering she blitzed the George Ryder Stakes results by seven lengths on a Heavy track last year, and she again relished a rain-affected course in 2018 with Rosehill at a Soft (7) by jump.
The punters came for her young Randwick Guineas winning rival Kementari who was the early market mover from the Godolphin stable, the three-year-old settled fourth on the outside as Invincible Gem led the field around.
Winx jumped midfield to settle at the rear of the pack outside of Cleary Innocent, while Pat Webster’s impressive last start Canterbury Stakes winner Happy Clapper sat a close second on the rails.
Hugh Bowman got going on Winx as they turned for home, moving up on the outside with the dual defending champion as Kementari looked to go with her before getting closed out.
After going past Kementari, Winx had to stick her neck out and really battle it out with the gutsy Happy Clapper who was running a huge race at the 150m.
It was the seventh time Happy Clapper had come up against Winx, his first since the Cox Plate sixth last October, and the third time he finished second behind her after finishing runner-up in the 2016 Doncaster Mile and last year’s George Main Stakes.
Winx was always in the right part of the track and she cruised up to them on the straight, cutting off Kementari and then fighting off Happy Clapper producing a fantastic effort and proving her champion status.
“She had to work for it today,” Bowman said post-win.
“A lot of credit to Happy Clapper.
“It was a testing race and it took a champion to overcome those horses that were up on the pace early.
“I had more respect for Happy Clapper over Kementari as an opponent…I had my eye on Happy Clapper because he’s in great form and I wanted to be close to him when he sprinted.”
Both Happy Clapper ($21) and Kementari ($9) came into the race in career best form, but the mighty mare was too good for them.
“She does all the talking when she runs,” Waller said.
“Today was just another great win.
“I was worried two weeks ago when I saw Happy Clapper win first-up the way he did.
“It was just good to see her job up and be put under a little bit of pressure at the 200m and just edge up and then draw clear over the last 100m.”
The George Ryder Stakes results also saw Winx set a new Group 1 flat race record with her 17th elite level turf triumph, overtaking that previously held by former American champ from the 1980s John Henry.
Continuing what has become one of racing history’s most incredible stories, Winx also extended her winning streak to 24 on the trot and took her continuously growing prize money up over $16.5 million.
Waller celebrated his sixth George Ryder takes win since 2010, while Bowman made it five wins in the race overall with all but Court’s In Session (2005) being for the Waller stable.
Punters are now eagerly awaiting word from the Waller Racing stable as to whether or not Winx will head to England this June for Royal Ascot’s Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes (1600m).
Waller confirmed Winx’s next race as a title defence on April 14 at Royal Randwick in the Group 1 $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’.
“You’ll see her in three weeks’ time in the Queen Elizabeth,” he said.
“And then there’s a big decision to make about Royal Ascot and going to Europe, but it won’t be made today.
“Realistically we just want to make sure she pulls up well.”
To back Winx next race at the right autumn racing odds visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
2018 George Ryder Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 5 – 24/03/2018
|1||4||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||6||57kg||$1.16F|
|2||1||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Blake Shinn||0.8L||4||59kg||$21|
|3||6||KEMENTARI||James Cummings||Brenton Avdulla||1.6L||5||56kg||$8.50|
|4||3||CRACK ME UP (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||Jason Collett||4.5L||2||59kg||$71|
|5||5||INVINCIBLE GEM||Kris Lees||Zac Purton||4.6L||1||57kg||$41|
|6||2||CLEARLY INNOCENT||Kris Lees||Tommy Berry||5.4L||3||59kg||$81|
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