Jockey Georgina Cartwright rode ‘Royal Hale’ to victory at Doomben despite being swooped by a magpie. The magpie coming off second best and Cartwright didn’t flinch as she focused on the home straight.
Winx is the Queen of Australian racing, and indeed the world.
Her appearance in the $4 Million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day 2 of the Championships this Saturday highlights a fab card of racing. Here is my look at the bumper ten-race card.
Race One: Adina Apartment Hotels Fernhill Handicap 1600m
Whispered Secret showed a lovely turn of foot once clear to win last start at Newcastle. This looks a pretty thin race and stable won it last year with a horse with a similar profile, Prized Icon.
Earth Angel is regally bred and she really attacked the line to win on debut at Ballarat. Has to be respected. All Too Huying had no hope due to the tempo last start and looks suited up to the mile.
Whispered Secret on top, to beat Earth Angel, All Too Huying and Muraahib.
Race Two: TCL South Pacific Classic 1400m
Looks the perfect race for Echo Effect. High quality three year old that gets map favours here and will love the drop back in depth. Bezel is the big watch here.
He’s the best horse in the race, but has had nothing to right this time in. Rosa Carolina was ridden upside down at Newcastle yet still got the job done. With a sit, she will be more effective.
Landed with Echo Effect, over Bezel, Rosa Carolina and Peacock.
Race Three: IG Share Trading Percy Sykes Stakes 1200m
Serena Bay, just. Loved her first up win at Goulburn where she absorbed pressure on speed yet drew right away. Looks the leader here and that run should top her off nicely for this. Enormous respect for Shoals. Toughed it out strongly to win down the straight at Flemington and looks above average. Villa Carlotta will appreciate the drop back in trip and a firmer surface.
Siding with Serena Bay, to beat Shoals, Villa Carlotta and Alamanzora.
Race Four: The Provincial Championships Final 1400m
The horse with upside here is Calabasas. Ran in the Newcastle Qualifier last week and loomed but was no match late for Clevedon Bay. Just has to overcome the draw to look the winner. Pomelo has to go in. Dominant win at Rosehill.
The only issue is the 1400m. Ziganui ran a beauty in the Goulburn heat and I like the fact that Bowman is booked. He will be strong late.
Calabasas for me here, to beat Pomelo, Ziganui and Dream Lane.
Race Five: Arrowfield Sprint 1200m
Interested to see what Spright does here. Freshened up and looked sharp in a trial win at Hawkesbury last week. She will be charging late.
Global Glamour is a high class filly who will lead these and look the winner most of the way. Defcon looks silly overs at around $51. He is much better than that and flies fresh.
Each way Spright, to beat Global Glamour, Defcon and Saracino.
Race Six: James Boags Premium Australian Oaks 2400m
Bonneval looks the best bet on the card. Star filly from NZ who comes here off the back of a dominant NZ Oaks win. Only bad luck beats her I think. Enormous respect to Nurse Kitchen.
Vinery’s effort was very good and that indicated she will love the Randwick 2400m. Best horse in the race is Lasqueti Spirit. She will be leading and giving them something to think about.
Clearly with Bonneval, to beat Nurse Kitchen, Lasqueti Spirit and Harlow Gold.
Race Seven: Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2000m
We saw something special with Chautauqua last week. Prepare to watch something special with Winx. Her efforts this time in have been breathtaking, most notably the Ryder. She should etch some further greatness to her legacy here.
Hartnell was much better last time out and from all reports, he is absolutely flying. He should run second. The United States hasn’t quite set the world on fire this prep, but he ran a beauty in this race last year.
Winx, Hartnell, The United States and Exospheric.
Race Eight: Schweppes Sydney Cup 3200m
Looks a two horse race between Assign and Big Duke. Leaning towards Assign. He has the fresh legs and stable love targeting this race. Taking nothing away from Big Duke. His win last week was dominant, though I’m not sure he beat much. Weights wise, he looks the one. Best roughie in the race for mine is Vengeur Masque. Loved his Mornington Cup effort and the two miles looks ideal.
Siding with Assign, just, over Big Duke, Vengeur Masque and Libran.
Race Nine: Coolmore Legacy Stakes 1600m
Very keen to have an each way play here with Danish Twist. Star Kingdom effort in an unsuitable race was very good and she ticks a lot of boxes here. Dixie Blossoms is a beauty for Ron Quinton.
Awful tactics beat her last start. She only needs to be within striking range to go close. Zanbagh was given a peach steer to win the Emancipation, and the wide gate won’t be a drama for her.
Looks a perfect race for Danish Twist. With her, ahead of Dixie Blossoms, Zanbagh and Silent Sedition.
Race Ten: TAB Sapphire Stakes 1200m
Tough race to end the Championships. Artistry for me here, but hoping the track dries out more. That will be the key to her chances. If it does, she’s one of the hardest to beat. If we can continue to get a wet track, the play for me is Secret Agenda.
Her Hareeba effort was outstanding on the concrete and she will love give in the ground. Good roughie is Tempt Me Not. Had no luck first up and does tend to save her best for Randwick.
Artistry on top, over Secret Agenda, Tempt Me Not and Painted Firetail.