The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Chris Waller’s returning star Verry Elleegant is tipped for a successful title defence first-up in the Winx Stakes 2021 this Saturday against a class line-up of rivals at Royal Randwick.
Elite level racing for the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival gets underway this weekend in the form of the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) and it looks an outstanding edition of the weight-for-age feature.
After a failed ninth in 2019, Waller’s Zed mare Verry Elleegant returned in last year’s Winx Stakes to claim a narrow first-up victory.
She went on to have an outstanding spring headlined by her Group 1 Caulfield Cup success, and was equally as impressive this last campaign during the autumn taking out the Chipping Norton – Ranvet Stakes double.
Last seen running second to Addeybb in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in April, Verry Elleegant looked good in a late July trial performance and has drawn a treat in gate five first-up with James McDonald back in the saddle.
Waller chases his seventh Winx Stakes victory and his sixth in seven years as Verry Elleegant looks to go back-to-back in same vein of the stable’s three-time hero Winx (2016-18).
Verry Elleegant sits top of the latest Winx Stakes odds at $2.90 through Ladbrokes.com.au and is joined in the line-up by four of her stablemates including the $5.50 second-elect Kolding.
The now six-year-old son of Ocean Park won the inaugural $7.5 million Golden Eagle winner as a four-year-old and continues to race in strong form having secured his third Group 1 success in the autumn’s All Aged Stakes at this track and distance.
He has the fitness edge in the Winx Stakes racing second-up having run under one and a half-lengths back fifth fresh to Phobetor in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) on August 7.
Better suited to the 1400m, Kolding looks a genuine second-up shot here with Tim Clark taking over for McDonald in the saddle.
The other Waller-trained hopefuls in this season’s Winx Stakes field are Imaging ($20), Star Of The Seas ($26) and the ultra-consistent Hungry Heart ($17).
Frankel mare Hungry Heart makes her four-year-old debut on Saturday and looks overs at her current price having secured three wins on the trot last time in including her last start Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) victory.
Outside of the dominant Waller duo there are a further two other single-figure hopefuls in Winx Stakes betting with the Annabel Neasham-trained Mo’unga ($8) and Think It Over ($8.50) drawn barriers 12 and two respectively.
Tommy Berry rides four-year-old Savabeel entire Mo’unga again after the pair ran last (seventh) but only two and a half lengths beaten in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes during ‘The Championships’.
It was a disappointing end to the autumn for the young horse who claimed victory in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and who has a strong record both fresh (3:2-0-1) and over the 1400m distance of the Winx Stakes (3:2-0-1).
Think It Over is also first-up on the weekend, Kerry Parker’s So You Think six-year-old ready to fire fresh after two good lead-up trials at Kembla Grange.
He claimed victory in Rosehill’s Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at blowout odds in late March before an eye-catching fourth at 20/1 in the Queen Elizabeth making him a danger at a good price again here.
2021 Winx Stakes Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||10x22501x5||KOLDING (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tim Clark||10||59kg||116|
|2||5103x1214x||THINK IT OVER||Kerry Parker||Brenton Avdulla||2||59kg||114|
|3||0825x3413x||CASCADIAN (GB)||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||7||59kg||112|
|4||0x017x528x||DREAMFORCE||John Thompson||Nash Rawiller||11||59kg||111|
|5||4303x2007x||IMAGING (GB)||Chris Waller||Ms Kathy O’Hara||6||59kg||107|
|6||095x41690x||STAR OF THE SEAS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||9||59kg||107|
|7||04654x300x||KEIAI NAUTIQUE (JPN)||Matthew Smith||Glen Boss||4||59kg||105|
|8||04508x663x||MASTER OF WINE (GER)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Regan Bayliss||8||59kg||105|
|9||876x00134x||BRANDENBURG (NZ)||John Sargent||Ms Rachel King||13||59kg||104|
|10||13x41x211x||MOUNT POPA (IRE)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Joshua Parr||1||59kg||103|
|11||117x32107x||MO’UNGA (NZ)||Annabel Neasham||Tommy Berry||12||58.5kg||107|
|12||4117x3112x||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||5||57kg||122|
|13||325x32324x||SHE’S IDEEL||Bjorn Baker||Jason Collett||14||57kg||102|
|14||227x78111x||HUNGRY HEART||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||3||56.5kg||106|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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