Veteran 10-year-old Ihtsahymn entered the...
Five-time winning trainer Chris Waller is in with a huge chance to secure a record sixth win in the Winx Stakes 2020 on Saturday with the master horseman saddling-up five runners including two of the top fancies in betting Funstar and Verry Elleegant.
Waller has dominated the results of the now Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m), the weight-for-age Randwick feature formerly run as the Group 2 Warwick Stakes.
He prepared Metal Bender to victory in 2010, Royal Descent in 2015 and then celebrated a three-peat with the event’s now namesake Winx (2016-18) who was also the first winner of the race post its Group 1 upgrade.
It is a star-studded edition of the Winx Stakes on Saturday with the season’s opening elite level drawing a capacity field of 16 plus two emergencies.
Waller is represented by five horses including the current $5.50 favourite Funstar drawn well in gate three with Glen Boss to partner the Group 1 Flight Stakes winning daughter of Adelaide first-up.
Debuting as a four-year-old, Funstar goes well fresh and is a Randwick specialist (6:3-3-0).
She is also a proven mudlark with an outstanding Heavy track record (3:2-1-0) and was last seen running second in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) during ‘The Championships’.
Jumping from barrier 10 for her campaign kick-off with James McDonald in the saddle, the now five-year-old daughter of Zed is a multiple Group 1 winner most recently in the Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill last March.
Like Funstar, she too was last seen running second in a Group 1 at Randwick when runner-up to Addeybb in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on April 11.
Despite being a genuine stayer, Verry Elleegant also looks well-suited to 1400m first-up and will be finishing strong late on a suitable rain-affected track.
Waller has also accepted for the widely-drawn trio of Imaging ($21), Star Of The Seas ($26) and Kolding ($51) who have all drawn right out in barriers 17, 15 and 18 (excluding emergencies) respectively.
In an open edition of what is shaping-up to be an outstanding start to Group 1 racing for the spring, there are a further three single-figure fancies under $10 in the Winx Stakes odds.
Between the Waller-trained mares at $7 is the second elect Master Of Wine, the Hawkes Racing-trained stayer current favourite in the all-in Caulfield Cup betting markets for October.
Tommy Berry is booked to ride the highly-rated son of Maxios for his spring starting point, the ultra-consistent import having won four straight races before his last start fourth in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Rounding out the hopes under double-figures to win the Winx Stakes in 2020 are the John Thompson-trained market mover Dreamforce ($11 into $8) and Tony Pike’s multiple Group 1 winning Kiwi The Bostonian drawn the rails.
Dreamforce is a class middle-distance performer, the veteran eight-year-old winning the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) back in March, but he failed in the all Aged Stakes next up and has work to do from the wide alley (16).
Runner-up in the George Ryder, The Bostonian is a versatile New Zealand-trained galloper who will relish the track conditions fresh and a first-up specialist (7:6-0-0) representing nice value.
Further adding to the form on The Bostonian is his win in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) in March when defeating Savatiano who won last Saturday’s Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
2020 Winx Stakes Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||1205x2810x||DREAMFORCE||John Thompson||Brenton Avdulla||16||59kg||116|
|2||0x9358x12x||THE BOSTONIAN (NZ)||Tony Pike||Jay Ford||1||59kg||116|
|3||147x54533x||AVILIUS (GB)||James Cummings||Robbie Dolan||13||59kg||114|
|4||x211x2348x||FIERCE IMPACT (JPN)||Matthew Smith||Jason Collett||4||59kg||112|
|5||111x45778x||KOLDING (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||18||59kg||110|
|6||x20x8100x3||IMAGING (GB)||Chris Waller||Ms Kathy O’Hara||17||59kg||108|
|7||x2311x114x||MASTER OF WINE (GER)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||11||59kg||108|
|8||81412×2322||NICCANOVA||Steve Tregea||Regan Bayliss||8||59kg||107|
|9||9393x1720x||STAR OF THE SEAS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Sam Clipperton||15||59kg||107|
|10||x3121x140x||QUACKERJACK||Mark Newnham||Joshua Parr||14||59kg||106|
|11||122x13437x||BRANDENBURG (NZ)||John Sargent||Ms Rachel King||12||58.5kg||106|
|12||410x42212x||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||10||57kg||116|
|13||112x3346x6||MELODY BELLE (NZ)||Jamie Richards||Kerrin McEvoy||6||57kg||115|
|14||x405x6161x||CON TE PARTIRO (USA)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||2||57kg||113|
|15||914x1602x2||FLIT||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||5||56.5kg||107|
|16||x211x2142x||FUNSTAR||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||3||56.5kg||106|
|17e||185310x39x||WOLFE (JPN)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||TBA||9||59kg||99|
|18e||26x1122x||ZEBROWSKI (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Koby Jennings||7||58.5kg||96|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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