Field of ten for the first Group 1 of the Sydney season

The first Group 1 of the 2019/20 Sydney season, the $500,000, WFA Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday, has a field of 10 with Godolphin’s Avilius (GB) the $3.10 favourite with for his opening round of this campaign.

Avilius imperiously won a Group and Listed trial over 1000m on the Course Proper at Rosehill on August 6th. The six-year-old Pivotal gelding was settled back in sixth by Blake Shinn and they then made progressive progress around the outside of the seven strong field to pick up the leaders for a 1/2L win. Avilius was not pressed to achieve the result.

Avilius resumes after a stellar autumn which culminated in two Group 1 victories in success with the Ranvet Stakes over 2000m at Rosehill and a week later the Tancred Stakes over 2400m. From just 18 starts he has won 10 and placed three times earning stakes of $2.4 million.

Kerrin McEvoy rides on Saturday with barrier eight.

Chris Waller’s Verry Elleegant is on the second line of the market at $4.60. The four-year-old Zed mare had just as an impressive autumn as Avilius with three wins in succession including two at Group 1 level. She won the Vinery Stud Stakes over 2000m at Rosehill on March 30th and the ATC Oaks over 2400m at Randwick on April 13th.

James McDonald rides with barrier three.

Next in the market is Happy Clapper at $6.00, Unforgotten at $9.00, Invincible Gem at $11.00, Le Romain, Best Of Days (GB), Kings Will Dream (IRE) at $15.00 and Samadoubt and Youngstar at $26.00.

The Winx Stakes is Race 7 at 3.45pm.

There are 10 acceptances for the $200,000, Group 2 Darley Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m); 13 for the $160,000, Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m); 14 for the $160,000, Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1100m) and 10 for the $160,000, Up And Coming Stakes (1300m).

The nine race programme with 114 acceptances commences at 12.05pm with a capacity field of 14 for the $75,000, TAB Highway Class 2 Handicap (1100m).

The Randwick Course Proper is rated a Good 4 on Wednesday after 9mm of irrigation over the last seven days. The rail will be out 4m for the entire circuit.

Sydney’s weather into the weekend has a partly cloudy day with 20c on Thursday and a sunny day with 19c on Friday. Saturday’s forecast is for a sunny day with 7c – 24c.

Randwick fields

Randwick hosts the Winx Stakes on Saturday, picture ThoroughbredNEWS