Champ is back with Neil Evans
Punters to flock to Randwick for the Queen’s return
THERE is no bigger or easier sales pitch than a generational champion horse!
Just like Phar Lap in the Great Depression, Tulloch through the late 50s, Kingstown Town into the 80s, Makybe Diva’s three Cups and Black Caviar’s unbeaten clock-busting road-trip; run it the people will swarm. Standing, sitting or leaning, doesn’t matter! Up to 8,000 would have probably trotted out to Randwick tomorrow without Winx, with her the crowd will be closer to 20,000 on a sunny, albeit windy day, but with a rock-solid Good surface!
It will be the only time all day the cheering outweighs
betting! Let’s face it, you know you’re dealing with racing royalty when every press conference after piece of trackwork is carefully — sometimes painfully — orchestrated with as much speed as a warped 33 and 1/3 old vinyl-coated record from the 70’s!
That said, championship trainer Chris Waller knows that extra weight, muscle and bulk on the now 6YO super mare spells even greater power and dominance when she finally screws down for the big Group 1 battles this Spring, and ultimately a third straight Cox Plate.
“She is about 7 to 8kg heavier, and she’s done the work required for Saturday,” Waller said after a stern gallop yesterday morning.
And while I think if she is ever going to be vulnerable this preparation it will be first-up tomorrow, this is an otherwise fair renewal at best of the Group 2 Warwick Stakes, and even at 85 per cent Winx should still cruise home.
But in what will be a catand-mouse affair, with very moderate mid-race sectionals, any fantasy of winning by more than 10 lens to grab Arrogate’s ultimate No 1 planetary global rating is out of reach, despite the outrageous $1.08 into $1.07 in a heartbeat at betting.club on Wednesday night!
Given Winx has had two spot-on trials — the second a winning one where she was little out of her comfort zone squeezed up on the inside before pushing through late — looms as enough for this to be little more than a trot and canter.
But for the record, the price is outrageous! Carrying that little extra weight and condition, jockey Hugh Bowman may be forced to dig her up a little more aggressively from an inside gate to position midfield.
She WILL get a lovely run, but the tempo won’t do her any favours. If there is an unthinkable knockout, it likely to come from looming 4YO star Inference ($19.00) — a seriously powerful en-
tire who has been prepared nicely off two soft trials.
The Hawkes galloper is a Spring star-in-waiting!
I also expect Ecuador ($26.00) fresh to give a lot of cheek from the top, but Foxplay ($17.00) is likely to be better 2nd-up! My WARWICK STAKES Tips:
WINX and INFERENCE: QUINELLA
WINX; Inference; Ecuador (In-Order TRI)
Elsewhere, while the Group 2 Silver Slipper for the 3YO Fillies has a disappointing five starters,
Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) is a ripping renewal.
Punters wasted no time charging into super-talented 4YO mare Omei Sword, pushing her $2.30 favourite, and off two soft trials, she’s ready to explode; but at the value, I’ll be sticking with
high-class 5YO Spectroscope ($6.00 into $5.50 betting.club) also first-up off two impressive trials and a galloper that’s on the verge of becoming a Spring star! My SHOW COUNTY Tips:
1. SPECTROSCOPE; 2. Omei Sword; 3. Invader
And in a strong edition of the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m), 5YO mares Dixie Blossoms ($3.80) and Euro Angel ($4.60) — both resuming — rate well clear of anything else, and should fight out the finish. Dixie Blossoms, off an outstanding trial, is probably that little more forward and gets the nod, while the returning topweight Zanbagh ($10.00) — who prefers it wetter — is a big watch! My TOY SHOW Tips:
1. DIXIE BLOSSOMS; 2. Euro Angel; 3. Zanbagh
* One of the very best Group 2 P.B. Lawrence (1400m) renewals at WFA punctuates a big open card at Caulfield. And while the early cash tumbled in for the returning Weir-trained star sprinter-miler Black Heart Bart ($3.40 into $3.00 betting.club), way out in the market I’ll be swinging behind Humidor ($11.00) on his first step towards the staying riches!
He’ll get a snug run back in the field, and with enough tempo on, can reel off a cracking last 400m. The reports are very good too about multiple Group 1 winner Hartnell ($3.80) who looks beautifully placed fresh; while I’m prepared to lay Lankan Rupee ($6.00) second-up in this company! My P.B. LAWRENCE Tips: 1. HUMIDOR; 2. Hartnell; 3. Black Heart Bart
Champion racehorse Winx is expected to draw a large crowd to Randwick tomorrow