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Rosehill Racecourse takes centre stage March 24th

From Deane Cummings
March 2018

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 | Bonus Bets at

A quick glance at the Ladbrokes website reveals that Winx, for those who act quickly, can be backed at $1.10, which may make some long for 2017, when she jumped at $1.26.

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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