The Chris Waller trained champion mare Winx has a field of 10 opposing her in her opening race of the 2018 spring, the $500,000, Group 1 WFA Winx Stakes (1400m), at Randwick on Saturday and she has drawn barrier five for Hugh Bowman.
The race has been given a certain spice with the late entry of Godolphin’s four-year-old Lonhro entire Kementari and he has drawn barrier seven for Glyn Schofield.
“We treat all the opposition with great respect and we do not feel at all that it is just a match race with Winx, but having said that I personally have the greatest admiration for the mare,” said Godolphin trainer James Cummings in Sky Sports Radio on Wednesday morning.
“But I think at the end of it he is prepared to run a very good race, he is prepared to run as well as he can second up over seven furlongs (1400m), he will be nicely suited over the seven furlongs at Randwick where he cannot help but run well.
“So if you ask me about the pipe dream, he is some sporting chance. But she is the champion and hopefully it is worth a cheer at some stage half way up the straight,” he said.
That cheer might take place shortly after 3.00pm with the Winx Stakes, in its first running as an elevated Group 1 and renamed from the Warwick Stakes, Race 6 on the nine race programme.
The three-year-old fillies commence their spring series in Race 4 at 1.50pm in the $200,000, Group 2 Darley Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m).
A field of nine was accepted on Wednesday including Australia’s current highest performed maiden, Tony McEvoy’s Oohood.
The I Am Invincible filly has earned stakes of just short of a million at $996,100, but in six starts she has not won.
On Saturday Tim Clark rides with barrier nine.
While Oohood has not won, she has raced at the highest level throughout her career with considerable distinction.
In three of her starts she was Group 1 placed; third in the Blue Diamond Stakes over 1200m at Caulfield on February 24th, second in the Golden Slipper over 1200m at Rosehill on March 24th and second in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes over 1400m on April 7th.
Another filly to have raced at the top level, but with a Group 3 win to her name, is the Waller stable’s Fiesta. Another by I Am Invincible she won the Widden Stakes in February, placed second in both Group 2’s, the Sweet Embrace Stakes over 1200m and the Percy Sykes Stakes over 1200m, as well as finishing a creditable seventh in the Group 1 Golden Slipper.
Another Slipper placegetter resuming is Gary Portelli’s Choisir filly Secret Lady. She was 11th in the Slipper, fourth in the Group 3 Magic Night Stakes and seventh in the Widden Stakes. The filly won a trial over 1030m at Rosehill on August 7th in preparation for resuming.
The duo $150,000, Group 3 races, Sydney Markets Up and Coming Stakes (1300m) and Nexon Show County Quality (1200m), have fields of 10 and 11 respectively.
The Course Proper is rated a Good 4 on Wednesday with the rail out 7m for the entire circuit.
Sydney’s weather is fine and sunny with Thursday 21c, Friday 20c and Saturday 9c – 22c.
Winx and Hugh Bowman in a raceday gallop at Randwick on August 4th, picture Sportpix.com.au