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Randwick Saturday Preview: Winx highlights key autumn lead-ups

Thu, Feb 23, 5:28pm by Staff Writer

Sydney racing is at Royal Randwick on Saturday. The rail is in the true position and at the time of acceptances the track was rated a ‘Good 4’ but rain is forecast on race day so that rating may change.

The Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) is the feature event of the day with Winx ($1.10 with William Hill) going for back-to-back wins in the race – plus her fifteenth straight victory and tenth Group 1 overall. Chris Waller has won this race five times in the past six years and has five stablemates in the race as back-up in case the unthinkable happens.

Godolphin’s Contributor (in 2015) was the only blemish in Waller’s recent Chipping Norton ‘streak’ and they’ll line up this year with Hartnell ($8) and Magic Hurricane ($126). Hartnell has three wins, three seconds and a third in his past seven runs with all second placings being behind Winx (his third was to Almandin in the Melbourne Cup). If he ever gets a chance to turn the tables on the great mare it would more than likely be on a large track like Randwick (or Flemington) but whether it’s over a mile or otherwise, only time will tell.

Global Glamour ($2.60) ill look to add to her impressive record in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) after taking out the Group 2 Light Fingers (1200m) at this track a fortnight ago. She bolted clear in the straight and just held on from a fast-finishing Foxplay ($5.50) who also lines up here. Spright ($9) was third on that occasion and if she recaptures her spring form she is certainly a winning chance while Omei Sword ($4)makes her somewhat long-awaited return to the track – a few weeks after Waller had initially hoped to have her back. She was last seen when second to Astern in the G1 Golden Rose (1400m) last spring – which was her fifth career start.
WATCH: Our Preview of the weekend’s racing, including our Best Bets

The Group 2 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) is a set weights and penalties for the mares with Dixie Blossoms ($3.10) opening as the favourite over First Seal ($4.60) and Danish Twist ($3.70). Dixie Blossoms was a close third to Zesftul over 1200m when first-up – her fifth placing from 11 career starts (she also has three wins to her name). Danish Twist is also second-up, with two wins at the track and four over the distance while First Seal resumes from a spell. She finished fifth of ten beaten 3.4L last campaign when fresh before going on to win a Group 2 and finish eighth – beaten 1.3L – in a G1 after that. In a wide race outside the top three, Zanbagh ($16) and Flippant ($7.50) have had a sprinkle of support in early betting while Happy Hannah ($17) is well bred and will get better as the distances get longer.

The lead-ups to the Golden Slipper continue with the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) for fillies and the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) for the boys – not forgetting the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield. Teaspoon ($4.60) and Exceeds ($4.80) share favouritism in the Sweet Embrace but are around the $51 mark for Slipper betting – as is Songlike ($7) – while Menari ($1.95) has opened a short-price favourite in the Skyline and sits on the third line of betting in the major. Eden Roc ($9) has been well in the market at his first two career starts only to finish second and third while Gary Portelli (who has the Slipper favourite in She Will Reign) is pondering whether to wait another day for Single Bullet ($9) who’s drawn 11 of 11 on Saturday.

Best Bet: Back Spright each way at $9


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