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The best sprinters in the west, along with some quality interstate gallopers, are set to sizzle on Saturday in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot. First run in 1952, the 1200m contest has been taken out by some champion sprinters including; Placid Ark (1987), Miss Andretti (2005), Takeover Target (2008) and Queensland iron horse, Buffering (2009 & 2011) and is now worth a staggering $1.5m in prize money.
Rothfire is currently at the top of betting for this year’s Winterbottom, following some solid Victorian G1 form and is $4.80 with Dabble. Last start The Hunter winner, Vilana, has been well supported and is next best at $6.00 along with local galloper, Elite Street. Vilana’s stablemate, Paulele, is also in contention at $10 and although others are $11 or better, the chances don’t stop there.
So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you and provided our horse racing tips! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2022 Winterbottom Stakes along with The Shark’s best tips.
1. Rothfire (3) – $4.80F
Jockey – Damien Oliver 58.5kg
Trainer – Robert Heathcote
Tried hard but was no match behind Bella Nipotina in the Manikato two back, before finishing 1.2L from the winner in the Champions Sprint last start. Should get a good run on speed from the low draw here, and despite also being a G1, he should find this easier than recent outings. One of the main hopes.
2. Vilana (12) – $6.00
Jockey – Jamie Kah 58.5kg
Trainer – James Cummings
*This horse has since been scratched.*
Winner of two from three this prep including the Silver Eagle and The Hunter last start. Drops back to 1200m here and has to face the tight Ascot circuit for the first time, but has plenty of quality and displays a lethal turn of foot. If he gets any luck early from the wider draw, he will be hard to hold out late in the race.
3. Paulele (16) – $10
Jockey – Ben Melham 58.5kg
Trainer – James Cummings
Second of the blue army runners who hasn’t fared well from Tuesday’s barrier draw. Won well in the Schillaci three back before losing his way a bit at his last two runs. Needs to find on those recent efforts and will need some luck, but can’t be completely ruled out, as he’s one of the better performing sprinters in the field on his day. Take on trust.
4. Elite Street (7) – $6.00
Jockey – Brad Rawiller 58.5kg
Trainer – Daniel Morton
Dan Morton looking to bounce back after last week’s disappointment in The Railway Stakes with Elite Street and Kissonallforcheeks in Saturday’s Winterbottom Stakes. #TheRacesWA pic.twitter.com/pPkQVFryql
— The Races WA (@TheRacesWA) November 21, 2022
First of the local gallopers who resumed with a tidy effort in the Colonel Reeves first up here at Ascot. Won this race in 2020 and finished third last year. Has a brilliant second up record (5:4-0-0), will get a nice run from the good gate and will take plenty of holding out.
5. The Astrologist (2) – $11
Jockey – William Pike 58.5kg
Trainer – Leon & Troy Corstens
Gutsy sprinter who wasn’t far away last start in the Champions Sprint at Flemington. Looks the ideal horse to bring west for this race and will make his own luck on speed with Pike in the saddle. Gets plenty of ticks in the form guide and rarely runs a bad race. Each-way hope.
6. Massimo (11) – $34
Jockey – Brad Parnham 58.5kg
Trainer – Chris & Michael Gangemi
Led and fought gamely last start to hold out Karli’s Karma in the Lee Steere Stakes. Run prior behind Resortman was good. Drops back to 1200m here and will find this race tougher but has good stats around Ascot and isn’t the worst.
7. Red Can Man (17) – $21
Jockey – Shaun McGruddy 58.5kg
Trainer – Steve Wolfe
Resumed from a short freshen to finish a close second in the Colonel Reeves last start. He’s shown in previous preparations that he can match it with the top liners, including those in Victoria, but the outside barrier is a big negative in this race and he’ll need plenty of early luck.
8. Stageman (5) – $51
Jockey – Clint Johnston-Porter 58.5kg
Trainer – Adam Durrant
Rising nine year old who was ok to the line last start in the Lee Steere Stakes. Had no luck the start prior behind Miss Conteki. Not getting any younger and probably isn’t racing as well as he was twelve months, when he finished second in this race, but won’t spend a penny from the gate and can bob up in the placings at big odds.
9. Indian Pacific (15) – $51
Jockey – Paul Harvey 58.5kg
Trainer – Neville Parnham
Speedy customer who has led and held on well at his past couple over 1000m and 1100m. Steps up to a high pressure 1200m race now which isn’t ideal and he will be made to work early from the wide gate. Others make more appeal.
Barrier draw for the Winterbottom Stakes!
Who have you got? 🏆 pic.twitter.com/iBPu6dBv77
— TABtouch (@TAB_touch) November 22, 2022
10. Beau Rossa (8) – $26
Jockey – Todd Pannell 58.5kg
Trainer – Will Clarken
South Australian visitor who ran well first up at Flemington behind Argentia. Has since had a trial at Belmont, where he finished off nicely behind Kementari. Todd Pannell flies over for the ride and he should be competitive here second up.
11. Hot Zed (6) – $71
Jockey – Jason Whiting 58.5kg
Trainer – Lou Luciani
Good win last start in BM78+ grade under the big weight. His run in the Crawford back in October was super behind Miss Conteki and he should land a good spot from the draw. Probably lacks the class of some of his rivals but is in good form and won’t be disgraced.
12. Kissonallforcheeks (14) – $26
Jockey – Chris Parnham 56.5kg
Trainer – Daniel Morton
Returns to WA after a stint in Victoria where she won at G2 and G3 level. Drops back to 1200m after a terrific effort in the Empire Rose last start. Will need a bit of luck from the sticky draw but will be saved for one run and should be charging late. Respect.
13. Miss Conteki (13) – $11
Jockey – Patrick Carbery 56.5kg
Trainer – Simon Miller
Smart mare who has a brilliant winning record. First two runs back this prep were nothing short of super and she had zero chance last start from the wide gate. The 1200m looks ideal now, she’s a ten time winner here at Ascot, and if she can slot into the three wide running line, will be very hard to hold out.
14. This’ll Testya (9) – $11
Jockey – Lucy Warwick 56.5kg
Trainer – Mitchell Pateman
Front running mare who has found a new lease of life since joining the Pateman yard. Just missed in the Crawford Stakes and Prince Of Wales before a solid win last start in the Colonel Reeves. Faces a big test now up to 1200m against this field, but will roll forward and look the winner at some stage in the straight. Last 100m the testing material.
Racing guru Prof. Robert Furlongsworth is expecting a testing race in Saturday’s G1 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot.
Extra trip suits, fancy her to finish over the top of them.
Consistent mare looks the best of the locals at a decent price. pic.twitter.com/wp7oyctU6M
— Unibet Australia (@UNIBETAustralia) November 23, 2022
15. Sniparoochy (1) – $26
Jockey – Jason Brown 56.5kg
Trainer – Stephen Miller
Consistent local sprinter who led them up and was far too good last Saturday in the Jungle Mist Classic. She beat a handy field on that occasion, and although this is much tougher, will camp on the speed and can run some blistering late sectionals. Worth including in exotics.
16. My Bella Mae (10) – $13
Jockey – Steven Parnham 51.5kg
Trainer – Dion Luciani
The lone three year old of the field who was sensational winning the Placid Ark last start here at Ascot. She ran a faster time than the 1MW and BM78+ on the same day and gets in light here with 51.5kg on her back. Hard to know whether or not she will measure up here, but can’t have done much more in her short career thus far. Respect.
17e. Titan Blinders (4) – $126
Jockey – Shaun O’Donnell 58.5kg
Trainer – Chris & Michael Gangemi
Former Victorian galloper who has raced well without winning here in WA. Drops back to 1200m here after three 1400m runs and might just find them a bit zippy for him.
A quality lineup of sprinters will take to the track here in what looks a great edition of the Winterbottom Stakes. The early speed looks strong with the likes of Indian Pacific, This’ll Testya and Sniparoochy engaged and the track should race well with the rail out only three metres.
Going for a bit of value in the shape of The Astrologist. His form on paper heading into this is very strong around the likes of Private Eye, Argentia and Roch ‘N’ Horse, and he should enjoy a nice run just behind the speed from the low draw. He gets the ‘Wizard of the West’, William Pike, on his back and looks a good each-way play for punters.
Local galloper Elite Street and last start The Hunter winner, Vilana, look the main dangers. Elite Street was good first up over 1100m and looks well suited here up in trip. He has a brilliant record at the track and has won four from five second up. A few question marks surround Vilana, namely the drop back to 1200m and the tight Ascot circuit, but his class alone should carry him a long way.
Miss Conteki can’t be left out of calculations. Her first two runs back this prep were super, before a complete forget last start, where she drew wide and was given no chance from the get-go. A more economical run and the step up to 1200m here could see her right in the finish.
My Bella Mae is looking to become the seventh three year old to win this race and looks a good chance with 51.5kg on her back, after a super win last start in good time. No real knock on Rothfire in a race with plenty of depth.
Winterbottom Stakes Tip
5. The Astrologist – Each-way ($11/$3.50)
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*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.