Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
Stuart Kendrick’s last start Eagle Farm winner Star Of Michelin is tipped to continue his winning ways heading to the Sunshine Coast on Saturday for the Winx Guineas 2020.
Formerly known as the Sunshine Coast Guineas, the mile three-years-old set weights feature has been renamed in 2020 in honour of the iconic 2015 winner Winx who went on to enjoy an incredible 33-race winning streak that included an historic four Cox Plates before her retirement.
This season the Group 3 $125,000 Winx Guineas (1600m) field has attracted 14 hopefuls and it is Jet Spur gelding Star Of Michelin leading the way in the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $3.80.
Drawn a treat in barrier four with Dale Smith continuing his association, Star Of Michelin was last seen winning over 1400m at Eagle Farm in a Benchmark 75 carrying 60kg on July 4.
On the quick back-up, the galloper presents fit comes back to 57kg for the Winx Guineas and chases his second win over the mile at his fifth attempt over the distance.
A further four hopefuls are also under double-figures in Winx Guineas betting this Queensland Winter Racing Carnival including the early market mover, $4.80 second elect Knight Mariner.
The Tony Gollan-trained Brisbane galloper opened at $6 chasing a third win on the trot and has been heavily backed early despite drawing out wide in barrier 13.
In-form apprentice Baylee Nothdurft has been on fire over the winter and retains the ride on Gollan’s smart Tavistock gelding for the Group 3.
Runner-up at the Sunshine Coast by a narrow margin at his only other start at the track last November, Knight Mariner has had just the two runs since and has won both.
He returned off a notable break to salute fresh at Doomben over 1350m on June 3 before his last start Ipswich win over the mile carrying 58.5kg on June 24.
Following closely at conservative Winx Guineas odds of $5 is then the local Gary Duncan-trained Wapiti coming off a string of good runs.
The Love Conquers All gelding won in the wet carrying a big weight (59.5kg) to victory over 1800m at the Gold Coast in May before two solid efforts in Brisbane.
The first saw him beaten under a length from a wide alley (14 of 15) behind Barefoot over the Eagle Farm mile on June 13, before a second behind Cellarmaid at Doomben over 2030m on June 27.
He is down in distance and weight for his return home in the Winx Guineas and presents as a danger despite the tough ask dropping back from a run over further.
Maozi ($5.50) for this winter’s Stradbroke Handicap winning trainers Toby & Trent Edmonds and the rails-drawn Starla ($6.50) for premier Sydney horseman Chris Waller round out the hopes under $10 for the win.
Formerly prepared by Peter & Paul Snowden, nicely-bred Helmet filly Maozi has been at the Gold Coast with Team Edmonds since the autumn and from four runs with the stable has enjoyed three placings including a 1400m win in early May.
She is in great form and looks an improver, but will need to be stepping up over the 1600m for the first time on the weekend.
Michael Cahill will ride fellow filly Starla in the Winx Guineas, the daughter of Snitzel chasing a third straight win following lead-up victories at Warwick Farm (1300m) and Doomben (1350m) this winter.
2020 Winx Guineas Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||14×2410551||STAR OF MICHELIN||Stuart Kendrick||Dale Smith||4||57kg||81|
|2||114×525853||SMART METEOR||Chris Munce||Mark Du Plessis||8||57kg||68|
|3||14×6224142||WAPITI||Gary Duncan||Sean Cormack||10||57kg||74|
|4||214817×109||NAVAL STRIKE||Kevin Kemp||Brad Stewart||6||57kg||73.5|
|5||5x13148x46||LOVE EXPRESS||Gary Duncan||Taylor Marshall||2||57kg||66|
|6||746×542211||SAMURAI||Noel Doyle||Micheal Hellyer||5||57kg||67|
|7||35x2x11||KNIGHT MARINER (NZ)||Tony Gollan||Baylee Nothdurft (a)||13||57kg||68|
|8||353328×263||BUZZER BEATER||Matt Boland||Jake Bayliss||9||57kg||59|
|9||154||VENDIDIT||Bryan & Daniel Guy||Jim Byrne||7||57kg||63|
|10||0x65||TWO SMOKIN BARRELS||Ben Ahrens||Ryan Wiggins||3||57kg|
|11||124×687211||STARLA||Chris Waller||Michael Cahill||1||55kg||77|
|12||66×7448123||MAOZI||Toby & Trent Edmonds||Robbie Fradd||12||55kg||73|
|13||18×5161730||AL JOOD||Chris Munce||Larry Cassidy||11||55kg||72|
|14||0x549316||MISS MARGS||Matt Boland||Ms Stephanie Thornton||14||55kg||60|
*Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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