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If you take a moment to look back through the honour roll of the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes, you’ll notice it’s a race that’s been won by some very good horses over the years. Another name will be added to that list on Saturday when 12 of the country’s best go head to head at Royal Randwick in the 1600m feature.
All eyes will be on Cox Plate champ and first up Apollo Stakes victor, Anamoe, in the $600,000 weight-for-age contest as he looks to add an eighth Group 1 to his already impressive CV.
He’s come up pretty short in the market after an impressive return to racing and is currently $1.70 with Dabble. Bonny mare Fangirl is next best at $8.00 and Mo’unga is also in contention at $9.00. It’s double figures the rest, headed by Hinged at $11.
However, we know with horse racing that anything can happen and upsets so often occur. 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 2023 Chipping Norton Stakes along with The Shark’s best tips.
1. Anamoe (3) – $1.70F
Jockey – James McDonald 59kg
Trainer – James Cummings
The 2022 Cox Plate winner who resumed in fine style here at Randwick a fortnight ago and faces a similar field here. Won at this track/ trip second up last time after a similar first up effort. Wednesday’s barrier draw was kind, McDonald rides and Godolphin are on fire at the moment. Hard to tip against.
2. Mo’unga (11) – $9.00
Jockey – Hugh Bowman 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham
Sat wide without cover when resuming and still finished off strongly behind Anamoe to be beaten 1.5L. Ran third at a mile in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes second up last prep and has been knocking on the door for some time now. Will need some luck from the tricky gate but has to be considered one of the main hopes.
JUST IN: Can Anamoe make it eight Group 1s in Saturday’s Chipping Norton Stakes and add his name to a stellar honour roll? Check out the barrier draw for the feature Randwick mile 👇 pic.twitter.com/9BOVqWebOs
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) February 21, 2023
3. Knights Order (7) – $34
Jockey – Tim Clark 59kg
Trainer – Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
Sydney Cup winner who led from barrier to box first up last prep in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes. That was on a Heavy10 surface and prior to that he was not a noted fresh horse. Trials leading into this have been just fair and despite having a great Randwick record, this might be a bit tough for him.
4. Huetor (9) – $31
Jockey – William Pike 59kg
Trainer – Peter & Paul Snowden
Resumes here after finishing midfield in the Group 2 Ingham at his only run last prep. Better form is over 10 furlongs and beyond but is capable of running some sort of race fresh off the back of a nice trial.
5. Laws Of Indices (6) – $18
Jockey – Ryan Maloney 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham
Second of the Neasham runners who was a tad disappointing first up in the Apollo Stakes. Think he’s a better horse ridden cold and that may just be the plan here. If he can reproduce his Hong Kong Mile run two starts ago he’s in with a big chance, but he’d need to break his Randwick hoodoo, where he’s unplaced from five attempts.
6. Stockman (10) – $61
Jockey – Sam Clipperton 59kg
Trainer – Joseph Pride
Real stayer who, despite finishing 11/11 first up, actually ran through the line quite nicely. Although the extra furlong will suit here, I’d be confident in saying this race is being used as another stepping stone towards more suitable races later in his prep.
7. Arapaho (2) – $61
Jockey – Rachel King 59kg
Trainer – Bjorn Baker
Another stayer who was quite good first up in the Apollo Stakes behind Anamoe. He will more than likely roll forward again from the good draw but may lack the dash required when the heat goes on. Watch for him over further.
Anamoe heads the $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes as $1.70 favourite. 🏇
Are you with or against it?👍👎 pic.twitter.com/KCxY2Suj4f
— Unibet Australia (@UNIBETAustralia) February 21, 2023
8. Benaud (5) – $34
Jockey – Chad Schofield 59kg
Trainer – John O’Shea
Ghostly grey who resumes here off the back of an unsuccessful Caulfield Cup campaign. Has trialled quite nicely and can sprint well fresh, as we saw first up last prep when he was beaten just 2.5L by Anamoe over 1400m. Worth including in trifectas and first fours.
9. El Bodegon (12) – $18
Jockey – Regan Bayliss 58.5kg
Trainer – Chris Waller
Former French galloper who finished third in last year’s Cox Plate behind Anamoe. Resumed in the Apollo Stakes where he again finished behind Anamoe, this time down the track. Will benefit from that run and appreciate the rise in journey but hard to see him troubling the favourite, let alone a couple of others, off the back of that performance.
10. Montefilia (8) – $19
Jockey – Dylan Gibbons (a) 57kg
Trainer – David Payne
Four time Group 1 winning mare who resumes here off the back of a Cups campaign. Wasn’t asked to do a lot in a recent trial and usually takes a run to find her best form. Wouldn’t completely put a line through her as she can produce a dynamite finish on her day, but a place bet may be best.
11. Fangirl (1) – $8.00
Jockey – Kerrin McEvoy 57kg
Trainer – Chris Waller
Got back and reeled off some sizzling late sectionals first up in the Apollo Stakes. She was beaten a lip in the Golden Eagle at the end of last prep, suggesting she’s in fine fettle. Inside draw allows her to race a pair or two closer and if the track is dry, she is a big threat to the favourite for mine.
TAB Chipping Norton Stakes Day acceptances are in for this Saturday at #RoyalRandwick. Track is looking to be a Soft 7.
— Australian Turf Club (@aus_turf_club) February 22, 2023
12. Hinged (4) – $11
Jockey – Brenton Avdulla 57kg
Trainer – Chris Waller
Led them up and ran her usual honest race first up behind Anamoe. Has a brilliant second up record and should find the front again from the good draw, in a race that looks to lack a bit of early tempo. Will give backers a great sight.
After doing the form of this race, there’s quite a clear trend that appears. Whether it was the Apollo Stakes first up, the Cox Plate of last Spring, or even a race back in the Autumn of 2022, all of these runners have been chasing the tail of Anamoe, which is why he’s an odds on favourite here.
With that said, I’m hoping the Chris Waller trained Fangirl can buck that trend. She was super first up in the Apollo Stakes, running slick late sectionals to finish third and from the rails draw here can land a pair closer in the run. Dry ground is the key and if she gets a bit of luck in the straight, feel she can really give Anamoe a run for his money.
Of course he (Anamoe) has to be considered the danger. He’s a five time winner here at Randwick and a two time Group 1 winner at this trip. He’ll get a gun run from gate three and will look the winner at the furlong.
Mo’unga has been knocking at the winners door for some time now. He ran some terrific races, without much luck, in the Spring and resumed in the Apollo Stakes with a closing fifth after racing wide. He’ll need some luck again here from the wide draw but has plenty of class on his side.
Of the others, Hinged should lead them up and run her usual honest race, and Laws Of Indices can improve up to the mile with a more patient ride. He’s also accepted for the Futurity Stakes at Sandown, so not sure where he’ll be headed.
Chipping Norton Stakes Tip
11. Fangirl – Each-way ($8.00/$2.25)
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*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.