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Winterbottom Stakes preview

It's Super Saturday in Perth this weekend, a moniker every sport seems to grab hold of at some stage, but in this case it is well deserved. Two Group 1s, a G2 and two Listed Races on the Ascot programme, a difficult feat to achieve when the money and pattern committee focus seems to always be on Melbourne and Sydney.

After his brilliant debut success on the Emirates Stakes during the Flemington carnival, Tom Stewart, @tstewcav26, returns to cover the feature sprint of the day. Don't be surprised if the winner of this race heads to Royal Ascot next year, it's happened before.... And if you'd like to watch some of the lead-in races, track gallops and the local racing network's video preview, check out Perth Racing on Youtube.

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2012 Winterbottom Stakes

The Winterbottom Stakes is a Group 1 race held under weight-for-age conditions, for horses aged three years old and upwards. Held at Ascot Racecourse in Perth, this 1200m event has been the platform and launching pad for many great Australian sprinters since its first edition in 1952. Some of the horses that have won the event and have gone on to become champions include; Miss Andretti, Takeover Target and in recent times, Ortensia who has gone on to win Group 1 races in England and Dubai respectively.

2012 will be no different, with a classy field and some potential stars in the field this looks to be another cracking edition of the Winterbottom Stakes.

1 Pinwheel (8) 58.5 Kg - After a six-week freshen up and under the guidance of Peter Snowden, this horse is going to be fit and raring to go. He undoubtedly fires when fresh and boasts an outstanding first up record, having won four of his six starts first up. Along with this he has won over 1200m nine times and has a good record under weight-for-age conditions. Look for McEvoy to be positive from the wide barrier and have Pinwheel up around the front four horses. As the most experienced and consistent horse in the race he is in with a big chance!

2 Spirit Of Boom (2) 58.5 Kg - A seriously talented horse that is yet to fire at Group 1 level but has been genuinely competitive against some classy horses. This is probably the weakest Group 1 field he has faced and could be his big chance to finally win that elusive Group 1. I have a few concerns with this horse though, that start with the weight for age conditions. I think perhaps this horse is better suited to handicap conditions and from barrier two I’m worried about where he might be in running, he is the sort of horse that you want to see draw wide and be storming home. Wouldn’t be surprised if he won but not my top rater.

3 Waratah’s Secret (4) 58.5 Kg - Perhaps a horse that is out of its depth here. Despite being competitive against some good Perth horses including the race favourite, Barakey, he hasn’t won in a while and that concerns me going into a Group 1 race against some classy sprinters. Despite all these things he gets a weight relief from last start and has drawn well and will most likely settle up on or around the speed. Can’t see this horse figuring in the photo finish.

4 Werd (8) 58.5 Kg - Ran a good second behind Barakey last start and has a decent second up record. Along with this he has a good track and distance record that should keep him in good stead. Like the horse above I think he is out of his depth and hasn’t won a race in a while. Will have to run out of his skin to be competitive in this race.

5 Barakey (10) 58.5 Kg - Boasting an unbeaten record and winning all his races with ease this horse is favourite for a reason. This classy gelding has shown that he is a serious racehorse by winning all of his 10 starts with ease and often under a hold. With comparisons drawn to champion sprinter Hay List this race could be a spring board for a big future for this horse. Only concerns are the questionable opposition he has been beating and whether he will be able to match it with classier Sydney and Brisbane sprinters like Spirit of Boom and Hallowell Belle at weight-for-age from barrier 10. Despite this, the horse is favourite for a reason and looks to be all class.

6 Conservatorium (3) 58.5 Kg - Adelaide sprinter who has shown signs of being a good horse but hasn’t quite delivered on the big stage yet. Cant see him pulling through here either. Stepping up from a last start second in a rating 68 race to Group 1 weight for age is a massive step up and against some classy sprinters this will not be easy. From barrier 3 he’s likely to settle close to the speed and most likely weaken late. Not for me.

7 Travinator (1) 58.5 Kg - Progressive sprinter who like Barakey boasts an impressive record having won seven of his nine starts and most of them with ease. From barrier one and with Bossy on board, look for him to scoot to the front and try and burn the candle from end to end. If he can get some cheap sectionals and get a break on them around the turn he could be tough to run down. Whether he will run out a strong 1200m is a concern for me. He has not yet won over the distance and is likely to set up a strong tempo in the race which could work against him halfway up the straight when the back markers are running on. Has a chance.

8 Solsay (8) 58.5 Kg - Has a great record over 1200m having won six times over the distance and goes well over this track and distance. Having said that, this is a massive step up in class and I can't see this horse figuring in this race. Another horse that is likely to be up around the pace and likely to weaken towards the latter stages of the races. Not up to this.

9 Hallowell Belle (7) 56.5 Kg - One of two mares in the race, she has been running out of her skin this preparation, having been competitive during the Melbourne spring carnival with a fourth in the Manikato Stakes and an eye-catching third in the Patinack Classic. Looks like she will appreciate the weight-for-age conditions and is perfectly placed in this race. From barrier seven Corey Brown will most likely settle midfield or go back with the mare and with the race likely to be run at a hot speed she will be storming home down the outside with a big finish. Gai Waterhouse wouldn’t take a horse to Perth to run a place, she wants to win and this mare is ready to win. Has been unlucky this preparation and looks to be a classy mare, rates on top for me.

10 Power Princess (9) 56.5 Kg - This mare has run some outstanding races throughout her career including a third behind the mighty mare Black Caviar. She has an impressive first up record and has won over the track and distance three times from four attempts. Looks to be competitive in this race although the wide barrier could go against her. From the barrier expect her to settle midfield or to the rear and be charging home late. Whether she possesses the turn of foot to run some of these horses down is a concern for me. A rough chance.

Betting Strategy:

I'm very keen on Hallowell Belle here and although Barakey is undefeated I'm willing to risk him at the odds considering Hallowell Belle has already proven to be competitive at Group 1 level.

Win - #9 Hallowell Belle

Boxed Trifecta/First Four:
#1 Pinwheel,
#2 Spirit Of Boom
#5 Barakey
#9 Hallowell Belle


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