Winx three-peat highlight G1 racing in two states

7 min read

By Bren O'Brien

On a day which features Group 1 weight-for-age 1600m races in two states, it is once again Winx (Street Cry {Ire}) who takes centre stage in the G1 Colgate Optic White S. at Randwick.

Searching for her 27th consecutive win, and her 20th Group 1 success, a victory would represent Winx's third straight in the race in what will likely be her last race in Sydney for this campaign.

She has won more races over the 1600m at Randwick than anywhere else (eight) and there are no signs that at seven, she is any less of a power she was when she beat Happy Clapper (Teofilo {Ire}) in this race 12 months ago.

If there is a challenger, and it’s a very big if, it is her stablemate Unforgotten (Fastnet Rock), who drew favourable comparisons to Winx when she so impressively won the G2 Chelmsford S. two weeks ago.

Unforgotten may be a suitable contender for Winx after her win in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes

The G1 ATC Oaks winner was beaten nearly four lengths by Winx in the G1 Winx S. first-up but was then far too strong for her rivals last time out. Like Winx as a 4-year-old, from here Unforgotten is expected to go to the G1 Epsom.

A third Waller runner, Egg Tart (Sebring), and the ever-consistent Le Romain {Hard Spun {USA}) are expected to contend for the minor placings.

Princesses on show

The G2 Darley Tea Rose S. represents the third leg of the Darley Princess Series and the final lead-up to the G1 Flight S, with plenty of chances after it was confirmed that G2 Furious S winner Pure Elation (I am Invincible), is out of the spring.

The fillies behind her two weeks ago are the major contenders here, with Fiesta (I am Invincible), the G2 Silver Shadow S. winner, the chief among those.

Fiesta pictured as a yearling

Pretty in Pink (Sebring), was a strong finishing third that day in her first run for the campaign, but has been dealt the widest barrier here, while the million-dollar maiden, Oohood (I Am Invincible) has been less than two lengths from the winner at both runs this time in.

The highly promising Miss Fabulass (Frankel {GB}) didn’t quite handle the step up in class in the Furious S. but will be ridden quieter as she looks to emulate her dam, Samantha Miss, who won this race ten years ago.

El Dorado Dreaming (Ilovethiscity), the surprise winner of the G1 Sires Produce S. has been scratched from the race due to a swab irregularity.

Shorts a mini-Everest

The Bowerman's Office Furniture Shorts looks a mini-Everest with four of the horses locked in for the $13 million race next month engaged.

Last year's winner of both this race and The Everest, Redzel {Snitzel) is expected to be hard to beat after his strong return in the G3 Concorde S. two weeks ago. He looks to be back to his best after suffering a few defeats in the autumn.

He comfortably beat Invincible Star (I am Invincible) two weeks ago, but you’d expect that mare to have taken considerable improvement from her first run in ten months. She will again look to dominate the speed but will have company with Ball of Muscle (Dubawi {Ire}), who was impressive in winning at G3 level at Caulfield last start.

He meets Everest-bound Brave Smash (Jpn) (Tosen Phantom {Jpn}) here having beaten him by just over a length on similar weight terms two weeks ago.

The other contender for The Everest engaged here is English (Encosta De Lago), who resumes off an autumn campaign where she collected her second G1 victory, winning a Doomben 10,000 which included Redzel. She has had two trials going into this and looks as strong as ever having recently turned six.

Everest contenders English and Redzel are both in Saturday's Bowerman's Office Furniture Shorts

Avilius steps it up

The G3 Agency Real Estate Kingston Town S. over 2000m expected to be the next test of Avilius' (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) credentials as a top-line stayer. The Godolphin import is looking to continue his unbeaten run in Australia and is a clear favourite for The G1 Metropolitan in two weeks.

His main threat here is expected to be Sedanzer (Sebring) who was excellent when resuming against wfa company in the Chelmsford S.

The G3 Bill Ritchie H. sees the first appearance of Pierata (Pierro) since his victory over Kementari in the G2 Missile S six weeks ago. He's had slight setback since but looks to be back to his best.

Tom Melbourne (Dylan Thomas {Ire}) looks to breakthrough for a long-deserved win, while Invictus Prince (Dansili {GB}) is looking to back-up from his run of a lifetime when second behind Winx last time. The promising Paret (Harbour Watch {Ire}) rounds off his preparations for the Epsom here as well.

There is also the Listed Schweppes Heritage S. where Neutrality (Sebring) is expected to be very hard to beat off his first-up second to Graff {Star Witness) in the G2 San Domenico S.

Makybe Diva highlight of superb Flemington card

At Flemington, the G1 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva S. looks a crucial race in shaping the rest of the spring.

G1 Memsie S. winner Humidor (NZ) (Teofilo {Aus}) was dominant in this race last year and looks well-placed to repeat off his fast-finishing G1 success at Caulfield two weeks ago.

Humidor looks well placed after his recent Group 1 success at Caulfield

The horse he beat that day, Kementari (Lonhro), is expected to be his main rival again here. There is no doubt the 4-year-old had a tougher run at Caulfield, but barrier eight shouldn't be an issue at Flemington for new jockey Craig Williams.

Kings Will Dream (Ire) (Casamento {GB}) was beaten 0.2l in the Memsie, his second fantastic run this campaign and is only just getting onto his preferred distance range.

When you add to the mix Happy Clapper (Teofilo {Ire}), who never handed Caulfield last time and was beaten just 2.25l in the Memsie as well as last start G2 Tramway S. winner Comin' Through (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), it’s a very competitive race.

3YO sprint test highlights trio of G2s

The G2 Danehill S. for the 3-year-old sprinters sees Native Soldier (Sepoy) look to back up his dominant win in the McNeil S. at Caulfield but this is his first run down the Flemington straight along with nine of his 11 rivals.

Marcel From Madrid (Sepoy), Ocean Knight (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}) and Tavisan {Tavistock {NZ}) come through the McKenzie S which was won by Brutal (O'Reilly {NZ}).

The G2 Bobbie Lewis Q. looks an even race, with Kemono (Jpn) (Kinshasa No Kiseki) set to improve second-up in Australia after being well-supported when beaten only 1.6L last start the G3 The Heath.

Hey Doc (Duporth) was run off his legs over 1000m last time and is much better suited over the 1200m, where he has won at Flemington before, while Rich Charm (Danerich) is also at his preferred track and distance.

The G2 Let’s Elope S. features G1 winner I Am A Star (I am Invincible) up against the likes of Bella Martini (Stratum), the in-form Merriest (Denman) and the resuming Sheezdashing (Myboycharlie {Ire}), who was placed in two G1 Oaks races at the end of her last campaign.

Flemington also features three other Listed races, the Cap D'Antibes S., The Sofitel and the Antler Luggage P. on what is a cracking day of racing.

Around the traps

In New Zealand, G1 winner Sword of Osman (Savabeel) resumes in the G3 Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders' Ruakaka, while the Boehringer Ingleheim 1550 is Group 3 Open Handicap at Awapuni.

There is also black-type racing at Belmont in Perth, with the running of the Listed Farnley S.