winterbottom stakes
Winterbottom Stakes

The $1 million Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes is one of Ascot’s key Group 1s, and the premier sprint race in Western Australia. In terms of recent winners…

  • In 2017 Viddora was third-up into the race off two very good runs in Group 1s in Melbourne (the Moir and the Manikato).
  • In 2018 Voodoo Lad came into the race off the back of a seemingly endless winter prep. He found one last peak for his career here. Darren Weir “somehow” managed to get that from him, because in three subsequent runs for his new camp after this run he did nothing.
  • In 2019 Hey Doc wasn’t in peak form, but found what has been his career top since (a rating of 118 on my figures) and bolted in. He’s only gone to a top rating of 114 since.
  • In 2020 Elite Street (back to contest the race this year) won as a roughie (unlike this year!). He came into if off the back of two wins in restricted grade (hence his price) and though he had rated well at that level he went to a new level to win this. He is back in better form again this year.
Winterbottom Stakes 2021: Key runner comments

ELITE STREET is in dominant form so far this prep. He was superb last start in the Colonel Reeves when he had to come from near last due to a bad gate, and he just monstered them down the middle. Won this race last year and is in slightly better form now. The one to beat.

WILCHINO just keeps improving! She got to a new top last start and she maps to get her chance to hold it here. Super reliable mare. Interestingly the Morton / C Parnham combination goes super together with a 32% strike rate.

INDIAN PACIFIC is back well this prep, rating well and if he’d drawn better here I’d be keener. He may need to work a bit from that gate but if he did get across and get a cosy run outside the lead he could prove very tough to run down.

Just forget that STAGEMAN went around last time when he was held up throughout. His previous two runs this prep were good and though he’s a seven-year-old, he’s racing at his top. If he finds the form of his prior two runs he’s a genuine chance here.

GRACEFUL GIRL is an on-the-up mare who closed it out well behind Elite Street last time. We haven’t seen her top yet, that’s clear, however she’s drawn shockingly and will need a lot of luck from that gate. But she has Pike on and the pace means he should drop in somewhere.

LAVERROD will be a big price. Not sure he’s a big winning chance, but he can place. He’s been okay in two runs back, is improving, goes great here and will appreciate the pace on. Should run well.

Winterbottom Stakes 2021: Final thoughts

I agree with the market here that Elite Street is the one to beat again, however I’d much prefer the $31 he was last year to this price! Also agree Wilchino is the obvious danger and Graceful Girl is the one on the up. Indian Pacific is my roughie who could surprise.

Pro-punter Cameron O'Brien knows how to find value winners at big prices. He's done it time and time again for his Key Bets members. They get all of Cameron's tips from right across Australia, including stake, recommended price and runner comments.

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