The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Group 1 racing for the new season down under gets underway at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse this weekend and it is Annabel Neasham’s dual Mackinnon Stakes champ Zaaki leading the current 2023 Winx Stakes betting markets.
A star-studded field of resuming stars will face off in this year’s Group 1 $1 million Winx Stakes (1400m), although the line-up is absent the subsequently retired reigning champion Anamoe.
Sitting top of the current post-final acceptance Winx Stakes odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au is evergreen veteran Zaaki ($4.20) having his first run as a nine-year-old fresh from gate eight with Ms Jamie Kah to ride.
The star import has amassed over $10.3 million in stakes to date and races for the first time since his somewhat disappointing seventh in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) back in May.
He has plenty of form fresh (10:4-3-1), and his record at the Winx Stakes track and trip is imposing (3:2-1-0).
Zaaki has defeated plenty in this field and is after his first Group 1 win since a successful Mackinnon Stakes title defence at Flemington last November.
The danger occupying the second line of Winx Stakes betting in 2023 is Chris Waller’s perennial bridesmaid Fangirl who is out to make herself known with Anamoe to rain on her parade this prep.
She is at a current quote of $4.80 to go one better than her second to Anamoe in the Winx Stakes results last season and is after her first turf triumph since the 2022 Vinery Stud Stakes.
The now five-year-old daughter of Sebring has been competitive in plenty since however including her back-to-back Group 1 seconds behind Anamoe in the Chipping Norton and George Ryder Stakes earlier in the year.
At her latest run she was just over two lengths beaten on a Heavy (9) track behind Mr Brightside in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) from out wide, and she is sure to improve on that fresh here to kick off a likely huge campaign.
Waller dominates the Winx Stakes field numbers-wise saddling-up eight of the 16 confirmed starters with Fangirl joined by stablemates Francesco Guardi, Osipenko, Lindermann, Going Global, Princess Grace, Hinged, and new stable acquisition Montefilia who was formerly with David Payne.
Of those, the shortest-priced in the markets to win are widely-drawn duo of Pierro four-year-old Osipenko last seen winning the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate here in mid-April ($11) and fellow four-year-old Lindermann ($17) who won the Rosehill Guineas last prep.
Along with Zaaki and Fangirl, the only other current single-figure hopeful backed in early from $10 to $9.50 is the returning Kerry Parker-trained Think It Over in gate seven with Nash Rawiller to ride.
The So You Think eight-year-old has a top first-up record (8:4-2-0) and won the Group 2 Apollo Stakes at the track and distance by nearly three lengths when resuming last campaign back in February 2022.
At his last start he handled a Heavy (10) track to narrowly beat home Zaaki at huge odds in the 2022 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), and he ticks a number of boxes to score another upset fresh here in his much-awaited return to racing after the lengthy let-up.
Neasham also saddles-up her 2021 Winx Stakes winner Mo’unga who is at $11 in an open market to become a two-time champion in his first run since finishing second to Dubai Honour in this year’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes back in early April.
Trainer James Cummings chases back-to-back Winx Stakes wins saddling-up Golden Mile as an $11 chance in this year’s event with the Astern four-year-old looking to atone for the nasty near-miss fresh in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) a fortnight back.
The Winx Stakes is set to run as Randwick Race 8 at 3:45pm (AEST) on Saturday’s bumper 10-race card.
2023 Winx Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||111x14241x||THINK IT OVER||Kerry Parker||Nash Rawiller||7||59kg||120|
|2||13341x217x||ZAAKI (GB)||Annabel Neasham||Ms Jamie Kah||8||59kg||117|
|3||2852x5332x||MO’UNGA (NZ)||Annabel Neasham||Sam Clipperton||16||59kg||113|
|4||820x77114x||ARAPAHO (FR)||Bjorn Baker||Ms Rachel King||19||59kg||112|
|5||611232821x||FRANCESCO GUARDI (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||6||59kg||106|
|6||122x37160x||COMMUNIST||Michael Freedman||Tyler Schiller||14||58.5kg||104|
|7||411x2400x9||GOLDEN MILE||James Cummings||Chad Schofield||2||58.5kg||104|
|8||x73x51761x||OSIPENKO (NZ)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||17||58.5kg||103|
|9||292x51210x||LINDERMANN||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||18||58.5kg||102|
|10||236x11421x||MAJOR BEEL (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||10||58.5kg||102|
|11||x06880x43x||DUAIS||Edward Cummings||Jason Collett||9||57kg||113|
|12||4340x5229x||MONTEFILIA||Chris Waller||Dylan Gibbons (a)||15||57kg||113|
|13||2562x3227x||FANGIRL||Chris Waller||James McDonald||11||57kg||112|
|14||x13x121x0x||GOING GLOBAL (IRE)||Chris Waller||Regan Bayliss||13||57kg||111|
|15||x71223x31x||PRINCESS GRACE (USA)||Chris Waller||Brett Prebble||1||57kg||110|
|16||358x26844x||HINGED||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||5||57kg||109|
|17e||411x||KING COLORADO||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||3||50.5kg||96|
|18e||21x421222x||NAVAJO PEAK||David Payne||Joshua Parr||12||59kg||95|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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