Racecourse takes centre stage March 24th
The big news this week in the world of Australian
thoroughbred racing is that Winx will be gunning for
her 24th consecutive win on Saturday, March 24, when
she takes to Rosehill Racecourse for the 117th running
of the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500 metres, weight-for-age)
The prestigious race was first run in 1903 and was
skipped only twice, in 1913 and 1942. In the years
of 1922, 1927, 1930 and 1935 the race attracted such
large fields that the race was won in divisions, which
is a far cry from the situation that exists currently,
where prize money down to the 10th position goes begging
for want of competitors to fill the fields of races
Bets at www.ubetfree.com.au
A quick glance at the Ladbrokes website reveals that
for those who act quickly, can be backed at $1.10,
which may make some long for 2017, when she jumped
Punters of a superstitious bent should know that
no horse has ever won the George Ryder Stakes three
times, but we will not cop, should she lose, to putting
the jinx on Winx.
The winner of the race gets a free ballot exemption
for the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap on April 7, a race
she won in 2016, but trainer Chris Waller seems to
be giving Winx more time between races of late, skipping
the Doncaster last year, even though she won in 2016
for her ninth consecutive win. Waller held her out
of the Group 1 Futurity Stakes this year, rather than
risk running without Hugh Bowman in the irons.
Waller will possibly target the mare that made him
the most famous trainer in Australia at the Group
1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000 m, weight-for-age)
at Randwick and he is still keeping his hand to himself
over whether he will take Winx to England in June.
As for the other horses that should try the George
Ryder Stakes, Kementari is on the second line at $8,
followed by Happy Clapper at $13.
Having Winx in the meeting for the George Ryder Stakes
may deflect some of the attention away from the Group
Golden Slipper Stakes (1200 m 2YO set weight), but
the world's richest race for two-year-olds will still
be the subject of intense punter interest.
Sunlight, the winner of the Magic Millions 2YO Classic,
is on the top line of betting, currently at $3.50.
Since winning that race, Sunlight has won the Group
2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100 m) and the Group 3 Magic
Night Stakes (1200 m), both at Rosehill, so she knows
her way around the course and she has only been beaten
once, that coming in her first race at Flemington
in October of 2017.
Hugh Bowman has a ride in the Golden Slipper on Performer,
the horse that sent him to the turf in the Group 2
Todman Stakes on March 10.
They say that when you fall off a horse, you should
get right back on, but those who said that never specified
that you should get right back on the same horse,
so kudos to Bowman for having a big heart.
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