Winx, winners and jackpots
Racing writer Tim Ryan takes a look at happenings in the racing world in the past week including the winning march of Winx and two New Zealand horses creating their own winning legacy.
One: Winx is number one with racing fans
She’s been doing it the hard way but champion mare Winx finds a way to win. As in her two previous wins in the current campaign, she left her legion of fans with hearts in mouths as she was apparently under pressure a long way out in Saturday’s George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
In her third run back from a spell, she settled third last before jockey Hugh Bowman ensured she was off the fence and chasing the leader Red Excitement. In the end, Winx ($1.10 favourite) defeated Happy Clapper in 1:33.65 seconds, with Foxplay third.
The mare’s trainer Chris Waller said he never doubted her ability to win the race. ‘‘I’m not too worried about how she was travelling in the race ... true champions they normally come out and win,’’ Waller said. ‘‘She is on track for some big races this preparation. It’s great Sydney have embraced her.’’
Not just Sydney Chris – but all of Australasia and surely the entire racing world watches when Winx goes to the races. Her racing pattern might have changed but she’s running outstanding sectionals and more importantly, she keeps on winning.
Two: Multiple wins great for racing
Two black-type races were held in New Zealand on Saturday and the respective winners are wonderful horses. The diminutive filly Prom Queen is proving to be quite special. Her turn of foot is electric and you’ve got to love the way she goes about her business – head down, neck stretched and going for it. She beat some good ones in Saturday’s Group III Northland Breeders Stakes (1200m) on her home track at Ruakaka notching her seventh win from eight starts for trainers Ken (also part of the ownership syndicate) and Lisa Rae and Krystel Williams.
She’s won her last five in a row which is the same as Group III Metric Mile (1550m) winner Dolcetto at Awapuni. The 5-yearold gelding has won seven of his 10 starts and is a horse going places for Levin co-owner and trainer Sylvia Kay. Race fans are beginning to get on the support bandwagon of both horses which is thoroughly deserved, horses of their class and courage are what keeps racing interesting. Enjoying the ride so to speak, are the horses’ respective jockeys who happen to be cousins, Alysha Collett won’t let Prom Queen out of her sight and likewise Samantha Collett who partners Dolcetto.
Three: Jackpot mania good to see
The ‘‘generous’’ New Zealand TAB guaranteed a Pick6 pot of $500,000 on Saturday. Punters ripped into the $230,000-odd carry over from the previous week and made the TAB’s guarantee look paltry as they boosted the pool to a whopping $782,940.00. The horses played their part with the first five legs won by either hot favourites or well backed contenders giving 613 nervous punters a shot at the gold going into the final leg.
Just 23.66 units collected a share of the $33,091.30 paid out to each full unit after $23 fancy He’s Cavalier held out the favourite Mongolian Legend but plenty of punters got a run for their money across the six legs.
It seems a shame punters don’t get more opportunities like the one they had on Saturday. Big pots engenders great interest and motivate people to have a bet.
Four: Going on holiday? Bet before leaving – yeah right
It was suggested in a media release last week that punters should have a bet before heading to Australia – really.
The suggestion came after the New Zealand Racing Board learnt that the Australian Parliament had passed legislation banning anyone based in Australia from betting on racing or sports through offshore agencies. The Interactive Gambling Amendment Act was generally aimed at rogue betting platforms in Asia and elsewhere, but the New Zealand TAB was caught up.
NZRB, which incorporates our TAB, became aware of the legislation last week and one of its first moves was to notify their 800-odd Australian-based account holders that they had been locked out of their accounts and funds would be refunded.
Betting revenues from that source have been estimated in the low seven-figure bracket, while others caught in the net include New Zealanders visiting Australia but now prevented from continuing to bet through their TAB. Bring on Race Fields legislation. Five: Redzel on top of Everest The Everest is drawing closer and interest is mounting. Redzel was last week confirmed as a runner in the A$10,000,000 The Everest (1200) for October 14 and on Saturday confirmed his status as a major contender. Redzel was secured by slot holder James Harron Bloodstock to run in The Everest after a deal with struck with the gelding’s owner Triple Crown Syndications.
Dolcetto (Sam Collett) and right, Prom Queen (Alysha Collett) extended their respective winning streaks to five on Saturday with feature race wins at Awaopuni and Ruakaka respectively.