Cameron O’Brien’s Winterbottom Stakes Preview

A pro-punter's take on the Group 1 feature from Ascot

Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes Ascot racing tips

The main event this week in the the Perth carnival is the G1 $1,000,000 Winterbottom stakes, 1200m WFA.

This has been quite a high quality race the last few years, as the ratings of the winners show. Two of the last six have been mares (VIDDORA and MAGNIFISIO). The winners have been:

The speed map for the race says to me that there should be plenty of pace. RUNSON drawn wide may even press on and try to cross but I doubt they’d hand up on BELTER, so I think the run on horses will get their chance:

My prices on the race:

And for me the value is VOODOO LAD for sure, currently $10. VIDDORA is going to be massively hard to beat, she’s back in great form but she’s a touch short to back, maybe she’ll drift between now and then. At this stage, will be on VOODOO LAD only.

Runner By Runner

#1 MALAGUERRA

Not sure if “Big Mal” is going any good. Had a year off before this prep with an injury and he was ordinary first up in the Manikato, 101. Won a trial since but the time was just fair – three faster trials on the day including a 3yo fillies trial, so I can’t be marking him near his top at this stage.

#2 VOODOO LAD

Needs luck as his pattern is to go right back, which isn’t ideal at Ascot, however the pace will be on here hopefully. Peaked down the straight in the Aurie’s Star going 115, that’s this top, hasn’t repeated it since but didn’t get a great deal of luck last couple. Is a 7yo but Weir is the “master trainer” so can look past his age.

From the gate Oliver will have to go well back, however the pace should be OK. Can’t give him his 115 given the map and he’ll need to come wide but have to assume Weir will have him otherwise ready to peak.

#3 DURENDAL

DURENDAL is a 7yo who has come back in good form this prep despite his advancing years. Went 105-106-107 in his three runs this prep to date, the most recent being his win in the Colonel Reeves. Last prep he peaked at 110, the prep before 111 which is his career best, but that is a year ago now. I don’t think he can do 111 any more and I doubt he can do 110 to be fair. Drawn wide but I do have him dropping in. Not certain to though of course.

#4 REBEL KING

Another 7yo! Won the Idyllic Prince stakes, listed 1300m, at his last run 91 days ago, going 109. He looked like he was at his top there, although he did do 112 earlier this year. Still, there’s a ? If he can still do that given his advancing years also. 

Has trialled well twice for this though so can assume he’s in form first up, and maps in the box seat. That can be good or bad at Ascot, you get a great run but you also need to get out of there too, plenty of good things beat in the box seat at Ascot!

#5 MALIBU STYLE

Another 7yo, MALIBU STYLE is however racing very well, and went close to his best 110 LST winning the Doveton stakes, listed 1000m at Sandown. His best was at Flemington in the Spring of 2017 when he went 112, again he may not be able to repeat that being a 7yo but he’s in form and will sit just behind the pace and have the drop on them.

#6 PROFIT STREET

The 6th and final 7yo in the race. PROFIT STREET is racing OK but needs a lot to go right to do his best as he maps back. Best of 110 last spring in the Colonel Reeves then went 107 in last years Winterbottom. Pace here will suit but again needs a lot to fall his way to peak.

#7 ASHLOR

ASHLOR is racing in form, winning LST at MV over 955m, not really his ideal trip. The 1200m here is more suitable and he can probably go a little better with that, and the fact that he maps ideally on pace from the middle draw.

#8 RUNSON

Flying this prep. Came back well at Caul going 105 then we backed him when he won at Cranbourne going 107, then we backed him again when he won at MV, setting a new track record going 114. The track was very quick that night and rail biased as MV always seems to be lately, so the 114 is a touch flattering. Went 112 peak last prep, I think that’s his realistic top.

Didn’t like the straight at Flemington (loves a bend) but still went 108 and tried hard. He’ll love Ascot, perfect kind of track for him, but he’s got the visitors draw 15 of 15!! Maps 3W no cover for mine unfortunately, so I can’t give him his 112 effective top. If he’d drawn iniside I would have, but I can’t see him crossing unless he really flies out.

#9 BELTER

The likely race leader from the inside draw, very much doubt Carbery will want to hand up to anything. Has gone 106 at each of his last three runs, has been improving so may yet have a new level in him at some point, and gets the chance to do it here. However, he has been tiring at the end of those races, so I am not convinced he can definitely do more, just think it’s a possibility. He will get his chance though.

#10 VIDDORA

Last year’s Winterbottom winner going for back to back. Went 111 in last years winning strongly then went on and won the Magic Millions sprint impressively, going 114. Didn’t come up in the autumn all that well in two runs but won first up at MV this prep 1000m, going 114 there, so looks to have come back this prep.

That was 1000m but it was hot pace so she was able to get over the top. Went no good in the Everest but forgiving everyone on that bog track that day. Has won a trial well since then and trainer reports she is going as well as she was last year. She drops in back in the field from the good draw and will no doubt get to the outside and wind up. Pace should be OK again this year, can see her getting to that 114.

#11 DAINTY TESS

No doubt DAINTY TESS has been set for this and she should be ready to peak fourth up. Back OK going 106-107 winning first two runs in over an unsuitable 1000m before going 104 LST 1100m behind DURENDAL in the Colonel Reeves. That was very slowly run so she was not suited there, am being forgiving.

Has drawn wide but I have her dropping in for a good run. Would probably prefer Chris Parnham were on her, goes to Paul Harvey, with Parnham riding the next horse in the order. Still, I could see her going close to that 111 peak figure here.

#12 ILL HAVE A BIT

This 4yo mare is back very well this prep, going 108-109 (both new PB’s) so far, and looks like she has more in the tank. Has been motoring home there over a too short 1000m, will appreciate the 1200m here and the anticipated genuine pace. However, she’s likely to stand every horse a start in the race, and it’s hard to win at Ascot doing that. Will likely get the back of VOODOO LAD into the straight though so should get a good cart into it and get her chance.

#13 ENTICING STAR

In season last start so can forgive that failure. This mare only has a PB of 107 but she has another level likely around 111 to 112 coming for certain the way she has been winning. Has won a trial since the failure last time so happy to forgive. From the gate Pike will have to go back though, probably track VIDDORA into the straight though, it’ll be an interesting finish as VIDDORA, ENTICING STAR, VOODOO LAD and ILL HAVE A BIT all get to the middle to run on! Can see a new peak here for her here.

#14 SEANNIE

Did 103 LST and was wide, that was effectively more, however needs a lot more to be a chance here.

#15 VALOUR ROAD

Won the G2 Karakatta plate as a 2yo and looked a nice horse on the up then, went 106, but has failed in two runs this prep, 101 each time, so not sure how this now 3yo is going. Will be on pace in a good spot from the good draw though.

Good luck!

Cameron O’Brien heads up our Key Bets membership, betting into VIC, QLD and WA race meetings.

With over $2,000 profit since early September, Cam has been in solid form this Spring and will look to continue through to the end of 2018, particularly through the Ascot racing carnival.

Follow him in this weekend: