We take a look at today’s Group 1 $1 million Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot racecourse and we give our tips and selections for the feature race across Australia today.
PERTH’S emerging Summer Carnival continues with tomorrow’s Group 1 $1 million Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).
The rich sprint has attracted exactly what the $1 million prize-money was set up to achieve – eastern states representation.
Three high-class sprinters from Victoria and South Australia will tackle the vest best of the local sprinters at Perth’s premier racecourse, Ascot.
They are crack SA mare VIDDORA, marked second favourite in the latest CROWNBET market at $4.20, SANTA ANA LANE ($8.00) and FUHRYK ($10).
The WA Carnival now boasts a Group 1 race worth $1 million on three consecutive Saturdays. Last week it was the Railway Stakes, this week the Winterbottom and next week the Kingston Town.
Clearly the increase in prizemoney over the last few years has caught the attention of trainers in the east, thus the increased participation in their Group 1 features.
VIDDORA is proven at Group 1 level, albeit she hasn’t won at the grade yet, but she has gone very close on several occasions.
During the autumn she ran second to Secret Agenda in the Group 1 $500,000 Sangster Classic (1200m) at Morphettville in SA.
In late September VIDDORA was beaten a head by Golden Slipper winner SHE GOT REIGN in the Group 1 $500,000 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
Her only other start since that narrow defeat in the Moir was a brave fourth to Hey Doc in the Group 1 $1 million Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on Cox Plate Eve.
SANTA ANA LANE goes to Perth having not raced since his come-from-behind win in the Group 1 $500,000 Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 1.
Trainer Anthony Freedman has deliberately kept this son of hot sire Lope De Vega fresh for his challenge in the Winterbottom.
Team Hayes has decided to send enigmatic sprinting mare FUHRYK ($10) for the WA Group 1.
She has mixed her form all Spring but David Hayes has gone on record as saying this mare is purely a sprinter and their attempts to run her over longer trips have been misguided.
Her runaway win in the Listed Alinghi Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield two runs back should not be underestimated.
CROWNBET has exciting local sprinter STATE SOLICITOR the nominal favourite at $3.00.
STATE SOLICITOR is an emerging five-year-old with a serious record, having won nine of just 12 starts, including a brilliant last start win in the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m).
Interestingly he ran in the Winterbottom last year at just his eighth start in a race and was beaten just one length, when officially placed sixth behind Sydney raider Takedown.
There are a lot of things in his favour for this race, including his wicket turn of foot, a perfect barrier draw in four, and the state’s leading rider William Pike aboard.
A quality sprinter eastern-states punters know well is ROCK MAGIC ($6.00) who returns home after a sterling campaign in Melbourne during the Spring Carnival.
All four runs in Melbourne were very good, including his last start 3.4-length sixth behind Redzel in the Group 1 $1 million Darley Classic (1200m), on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington.
Not surprisingly he’s marked second favourite after coming up with an ideal barrier draw of six.
There are many other locals with some chance in this race as well.
For mine, ROCK MAGIC on an each-way basis might be the safest option.
Tips and Preview from CrownBet Racing