Australia’s most successful racing analyst previews Saturday’s G1 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot.
Group 1 WFA Winterbottom Stakes (1200m)
3YOs & up
Prize money: $1,000,000
Weather fine at Ascot. Should be a Good 3 or Good 4, firm track.
Plenty of speed engaged. Runson is going to go hell for leather from gate 15 and try to cross them all and lead.
Belter from gate 1 and Valour Road from gate 3 will also push up, and if they try to lead and keep Runson out wide, it’ll be a very quick early speed. Ashlor, Rebel King and Malibu Style will sit just off them, whilst Durendal will try and slot into a midfield spot from the wide gate.
If they go silly in front it’ll bring the backmarkers into the race, and they are the classier animals on the whole.
Eastern states raiders have dominated this race, winning five of the last seven editions. There are no real dominant form references for this race – past winners have come from a wide variety of different states, races and trainers.
#10 Viddora (Joe Bowditch / Lloyd Kennewell) $2.60
Have her rated clearly on top. Won this race last year, and she is an even better horse this year. Gets back and will charge home. Is the one to beat, but is a skinny price
#14 Seannie (Lucy Warwick / Lindsey Smith) $41
Underrated mare. Looked a superstar 2YO early days. Went to the Busuttin stable in Melbourne but never ran to best. Back with L Smith and won first up. Way up in grade but will be flying home off the hot speed. Can surprise.
#3 Durendal $26 (Shaun McGruddy / Chris Cangemi) $26
Ran third in this race last year after laying out and being injured in the run. Also sat on a hot pace, while the other horses on the speed all tailed off. Appears to be going even better into the race this year. Will need to slot in from the wide gate, but with luck in running could be the smokey
#13 Enticing Star (William Pike / Adam Durrant) $6
Talented mare who won her first 8 races in a row. Beaten for the first time in her career last start, but was in season. If she’s right, she can figure here.
Viddora is the one to beat, but is a skinny quote. Can back her, plus Seannie and Durendal (potentially each way given the prices) and form a good strategy. Worth saving on Enticing Star who can figure despite the rise in class.
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