Thu, Aug 16, 11:55am by Staff Writer
Group 1 racing returns to Sydney for the new season this Saturday at Randwick where the rail will be out seven-metres and the track in the good range.
The G1 Winx Stakes (1400m) – formerly the Warwick Stakes – is the feature of the day with a field of 11 accepted to run including Winx ($1.16) herself. A win here would give her 26 straight victories which would get her ahead of Black Caviar and into the record books as the most consecutive wins by any horse in this country.
She’s trialled as well as ever leading into this and if she were to salute that would give her three-in-a-row for this race and four straight for Waller (with Royal Descent taking the Warwick Stakes in 2015). Outside of Winx, Waller takes Group 1 winners Unforgotten ($61) and D’Argento ($21) into the race plus stable mates Religify ($91) and Libran ($126).
Kementari ($6.50) was a late nomination for the race but there is an air of confidence from the Godolphin camp after the four-year-old returned with a good second to Pierata in the G2 Missile (1200m) a fortnight ago. He was originally pencilled in for the Memsie as a second-up run but James Cummings thought the gap was too long and Kementari was going too well at home to wait for then.
The race track whispers might also have you believe that he is getting closer to an Everest slot and a good performance here certainly wouldn’t harm his chances.
Cabeza De Vaca ($101) might try and do what Foxplay and Red Excitement attempted last year to Winx at her first two runs while Ace High ($31) commences en-route to a Cups campaign.
A field of nine will run in the G2 Silver Shadow (1200m) with a maiden – Oohood ($2.20) – favourite for the race. The Tony McEvoy-trained filly has yet to register a win from her six career starts but she’s never missed a place and she did go down in a photo-finish in both the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) and G1 Sires (1400m) before a break.
Ready to Prophet ($16) is having her third career start and she comes into this off a dominant Canterbury midweek victory at her most recent run, after finishing last at her race debut which was run on a soft-7.
Laburnum ($23) drops back to the 1200m after a 1400m and 1500m run at her last two starts while Adamina ($18) is the only other runner already into a prep.
Fiesta ($4.20) was impressive first-up last campaign – when defeating Adamina – in what’s been her only victory to date, although similar to Oohood she has two seconds in G2 grade. Outback Barbie ($4) was third behind Pure Elation and Fiesta in the G2 Percy Sykes (1200m) in the autumn.
The Hayes/Dabernig camp won this race last year with Formality and they line up with Futooh ($7) this year while Meryl ($27) and Secret Lady ($23) also resume their spring campaigns on Saturday.
Suggested Bet: In what looks a tricky day, think Dal Cielo ($6.50, race 7, number 4) is a worth a bet at the price. Le Romain ($2.60) is clearly the class horse in the race but first-up and giving weight to all his rivals is a little worry. Kris Lees looks to have Dal Cielo back in order with two good runs at his past two starts and there looks enough speed in the race so provided run on horses aren’t disadvantaged, think he can run right over the top of them late.
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