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2022 Winx Stakes Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

Group 1 racing returns this Saturday with the running of the $750k Winx Stakes at Royal Randwick Racecourse. The 1400m weight-for-age feature kicks off the highly anticipated Sydney Spring Racing Carnival for 2022.

This year’s contest has brought together a competitive, top-notch field, with the majority of runners resuming and looking to kick off their Spring campaigns on the right foot. Last year’s Winx Stakes was taken out by Mo’unga with Tommy Berry in the saddle, who will be looking to make it back-to-back victories in this year’s race.

Looking at the market, Dabble has Godolphin’s stable star, Anamoe, favourite at $2.40 ahead of last year’s winner, Mo’unga, who is next best at $6.00. Multiple G1 winning mare, Forbidden Love, currently priced at $6.50, is on the third line of betting and the Chris Waller trained, Fangirl, is at $7.00.

However, we know with horse racing that anything can happen and 9 of the 11 runners are resuming from a spell. 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 Winx Stakes along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. Mo’unga (2) – $6.00
Jockey – Tommy Berry 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

Winner of this race last year who has a brilliant fresh record. Chased hard first up last prep to finish runner up behind Sierra Sue in the Futurity, before a plain midfield effort in the All Aged Stakes. Has had a couple of quiet hit outs at the trials in preparation for this and has to be well respected in a race like this.

2. Stockman (6) – $101
Jockey – Sam Clipperton 59kg
Trainer – Joseph Pride

Prolific wet tracker who ran a career best in the Tancred Stakes last prep. Might find a few of these a bit sharp over the 1400m and will no doubt have a few races picked out for him later in the prep as the trips get longer.

3. Anamoe (1) – $2.40F
Jockey – James McDonald 58.5kg
Trainer – James Cummings

Cox Plate runner-up who brained his rivals last prep in the Rosehill Guineas when getting out to the 2000m. He resumed last prep over 1200m and found them a bit sharp, but the seven furlongs here should suit him down to the ground fresh, and has looked good in two recent barrier trials. He’s been well found in the market here first up but does look one of the main contenders in this.

4. Profondo (7) – $13
Jockey – Brenton Avdulla 58.5kg
Trainer – Richard Litt

Boom 3YO who failed to come up in the Autumn. Looked good in a recent trial behind Anamoe and will be out to prove to the naysayers that he is the real deal this preparation. Happy to watch him go around here and I’m sure we will get a good idea of where he’s at heading into the Spring after this run.

5. Hilal (3) – $20
Jockey – William Pike 58.5kg
Trainer – Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes

Resumed in the Missile Stakes here a fortnight ago where he only warmed up the last furlong. Has proven he is capable of mixing it with the best horseflesh in the land and the step up to 1400m second up looks ideal. Drawn to get a good run from the low draw and shouldn’t be far away at the business end.

6. Benaud (4) – $81
Jockey – Reece Jones (a) 58.5kg
Trainer –  John O’Shea

ATC Derby runner up who resumes here off the back of a nice trial behind In The Congo. He might find a few of these a bit sharp first up but looks to have come back in good order and will be suited as the races get longer.

7. Duais (5) – $18
Jockey – Joshua Parr 57kg
Trainer – Edward Cummings

Really stamped herself as a top class mare last prep taking out both the Australian Cup and Tancred Stakes in good fashion. Comes into this with only one trial under the belt and will take plenty of benefit from the run. Connections will be hoping to see her hit the line strongly the last furlong with Cup plans on the table this Spring.

8. Forbidden Love (10) – $6.50
Jockey – Rachel King 57kg
Trainer – Michael Freedman

Multiple G1 winning mare who resumed from a short spell in the Missile Stakes and was found wanting late. No doubt that run would’ve tightened her up for this, and the step up to 1400m is in her favour. Although it’s hard to be confident she’s going as well as last prep, if she can show some of that form, she will go close here second up.

9. Icebath (8) – $34
Jockey – Kerrin McEvoy 57kg
Trainer – Brad Widdup

Consistent mare who was twice G1 placed last prep in both the Doncaster and Queen of the Turf here at Randwick. Had two good hitouts to prepare for this and should be doing her best work late in the race.

10. Fangirl (9) – $7.00
Jockey – Hugh Bowman 56.5kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Talented mare who possesses a brilliant winning record including the G1 Vinery Stud Stakes. Really liked the way she has attacked the line in two barrier trials leading into this and should get conditions to suit. If there’s any sort of speed on up front she will be charging late.

11. Hinged (11) – $14
Jockey – Nash Rawiller 56.5kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Former Qld trained mare who had a stellar Autumn campaign. Resumes here off the back of a couple of trials where she wasn’t asked to do a lot. Drawn the outside gate but gets the services of Nash Rawiller and has to be considered an each-way chance.

Final Word

This year’s Winx Stakes not only kicks off the 2022 Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, but it also sees the return of some of the most exciting horse flesh in the country.

Cox Plate runner up and dual G1 winner, Anamoe, heads betting and looks to have come back in fine fettle based off his barrier trials. The market has him short enough for mine but there is no doubting he is the one they have to beat.

Front running mare Forbidden Love maps well. She weakened late in the Missile Stakes first up but with that run under the belt and the step up in trip, she looks a genuine winning hope.

Hilal also has the benefit of a run under his belt and represents some good value. He only warmed up late first up in the Missile and likewise should appreciate the rise in trip.

As for the on top selection, I’m going with the Chris Waller trained Fangirl. I really like the way she attacked the line in both her barrier trials leading into this and should get the right conditions here to display her dazzling turn of foot.

Winx Stakes TipLogo

10. Fangirl – Each-way ($7.00/$2.20)

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*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.

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2021 Winx Stakes Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

The first Group One of the season is finally here and we have analysed the race to provide you with a runner by runner preview and our best Winx Stakes tips for the 2021 race. Verry Elleegant tops the market at $2.90 (via Sportsbet on Thursday afternoon), but can anyone topple the champion mare?

The final field of 14 horses has eight that have won at group one level, while 13 of the horses, all except Kolding, will tackle the race first up. 

1. Kolding (10) – $5
Jockey – Tim Clark
Trainer – Chris Waller

Was quite ordinary when resuming in the G2 1200m Missile Stakes, settling in the first pair with Fasika but being out-run down the straight, finishing 1.5L off the pace in 5th. That run doesn’t give much confidence heading into this race, however he is the second most decorated in the race, behind Verry Elleegant, and has conditions to suit. He is 6:2-2-0 at this track/distance, loves a good track and has won second up previously. Can you forgive him for his first up run?

2. Think It Over (2) – $8.50
Jockey – Brenton Avdulla
Trainer – Kerry Parker

A very interesting runner here and one that seems to be forgotten about in the odds quite regularly – going around at $51, $20, $26 and $21 last prep for two wins (including the G1 1500m George Ryder), one second and a fourth. Think It Over thrives when running fresh, winning three times and coming second twice from six runs, including winning the G3 1300m Liverpool City Cup last prep, ahead of talented Godolphin – Criaderas. He then went on to finish only 1.5L off Verry Elleegant in the Queen Elizabeth later that preparation, highlighting his rise in class but could he cause the upset in this? Definitely worth including in exotics at a minimum.

3. Cascadian (7) – $10
Jockey – Hugh Bowman
Trainer – James Cummings

Broke through for his maiden Group One victory in the Autumn, winning the Doncaster Mile on a Soft6 but seems to be a bit of a cat for punters. The track conditions are the key there, considering Cascadian has only won once from 11 starts on a good surface. He’s won twice at the track and won twice at the distance, but hasn’t won first up from four preparations in Australia and might be a step behind some of these under weight-for-age conditions. Could be a chance if there is a massive backmarker bias?

4. Dreamforce (11) – $16
Jockey – Nash Rawiller
Trainer – John Thompson

It will be a massive blow for Dreamforce if Rawiller doesn’t get up from his injury (laceration to his foot and suspected broken toe) he sustained on Thursday. One of the big positives for the nine-year-old is that he was one of only two horses to have at least 10 runs with their jockey, the other being Verry Elleegant, however he has only won 1 of 7 races since his George Ryder win in the 2020 Autumn season. He will dictate his own race, going to the front from the wide draw but does he still possess the turn-of-foot to hold off those behind him in a race of this quality, especially under weight-for-age conditions.

5. Imaging (6) – $20
Jockey – Kathy O’Hara
Trainer – Chris Waller

Happy to look elsewhere. Imaging has won just 1 of 13 runs in Australia and hasn’t won since March 2020, where he won the G2 1500m Ajax Stakes on a Heavy9. His trial looked ordinary and won’t be able to make up enough ground to be a contender.

6. Star Of The Seas (11) – $26
Jockey – Jay Ford
Trainer – Chris Waller

Star Of The Seas was a nose off going into this race as the defending champion. almost beating his stablemate, Verry Elleegant, in a photo finish in last year’s run. While that was an exceptional run and did well coming from the back, he is yet to win at Group One level and has just two wins from his last four preparations. While Jay Ford isn’t a top line jockey choice, he has ridden this gelding on three occasions, winning twice. He has a good record first up and on good tracks, but can he recreate his run from last year?

7. Keiai Nautique (4) – $51
Jockey – Glen Boss
Trainer – Matthew Smith

The most intriguing runner in the race, Keiai Nautique runs his first run in Australia. The full brother of Fierce Impact has had an unfortunate time in Japan lately, forcing connections to bring him across to Australia, under the care of Matthew Smith, in hope of a turn of fortune. He has won at Group One level, but that was in May 2018 and he hasn’t won since from 17 runs, only placing in one of those as well. Glen Boss is a positive jockey selection but it is best to be looking elsewhere, especially when Smith has already said he just wants to have a look at how he goes. 

8. Master Of Wine (8) – $51
Jockey – Regan Bayliss
Trainer – M, W & J Hawkes

Master Of Wine was supposed to become one of the next superstars of Australian racing after an excited preparation during the 2020 Autumn Carnival but couldn’t fire a shot last season. The gelding ran in eight straight Group Ones, with a 0.8L fifth in the G1 Turnbull Stakes being his best return. He then finished last prep by dropping back to Group Three level where he finished 3.3L back in third despite jumping as $2.25 favourite. 

9. Brandenburg (13) – $41
Jockey – Rachel King
Trainer – John Sargent

Brandenburg is always a very honest performer but doesn’t quite have the class to match it with a quality field like this. He ran in this race last year and actually had Verry Elleegant’s back at the 350m mark but ended up finishing 5.3L off the pace. The one positive is that his best career win to date, the G2 Hobartville, was over this distance and he was first up in that, but it was also 18 months ago and on a soft surface, which he prefers. 

10. Mount Popa (1) – $35
Jockey – Joshua Parr
Trainer – M, W & J Hawkes

It will be very interesting to see how Mount Popa returns this preparation, however there are very little expectations of a top finish in this race. The Irish import has already secured a Caulfield Cup entry by winning the listed Mornington Cup in the Autumn and will work his way into that race slowly, meaning this could be a more competitive trial for him. He has never actually raced at group level before and will find this too sharp, especially under weight-for-age conditions. 

11. Mo’unga (12) – $8
Jockey – Tommy Berry
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

Mo’unga is a very exciting four-year-old that has a sky high ceiling and could be a big name player in the years to come. Looking at this race, he genuinely has a chance to take it up to the older horses and make a name for himself. He finished just 2.1L off Verry Elleegant in the Queen Elizabeth as a three-year-old and all reports say that he has improved in his time off. He has two wins and a third at 1400m, and one of those was first up last Spring in a BM64. While you may scoff at the quality of race that he was in, his time was just 1.37s slower than Verry Elleegant’s win in the Winx Stakes and a year is a long time, especially for an horse that is maturing from three to four. Drawing the 12 of 14 definitely hurts but he typically goes back in runs anyway, it is just whether he can make up the distance under weight-for-age conditions. 

12. Verry Elleegant (5) – $2.90
Jockey – James McDonald
Trainer – Chris Waller

The 8x Group One winner tops the market as Verry Elleegant prepares to defend her crown in the race. While it wasn’t pretty last year, she still managed to get over the line first and set up an exceptional Spring Carnival. However, there are plenty of questions heading into this race that don’t justify taking the price she currently is. The mare has won just two of her 12 starts on a good surface and has won just one of her six first up runs, last year’s Winx Stakes. Will she find this too sharp on a hard deck, especially when there are some other horses who suit the conditions much better? If Rawiller doesn’t end up riding Dreamforce, James McDonald will be the only jockey in the race to have more than seven rides on their horse, and the JMac/Waller combination is clearly one to follow. Can you take her at her price?

14. She’s Ideel (14) – $91
Jockey – Jason Collett
Trainer – Bjorn Baker

While She’s Ideel has come on massively over the last 12 months and is a genuine chance for her target races later in the Spring Carnival, The Metropolitan and Melbourne Cup, she has no chance in this one. Drawing the car park in a race that was already going against her, being on a good surface and too short, doesn’t help either. 

14. Hungry Heart (3) – $17
Jockey – Kerrin McEvoy
Trainer – Chris Waller

Hungry Heart rounds out the pack, carrying the lightest weight and getting very good conditions for a run that should out-do her current odds. The Waller-trained mare has had eight runs on good surfaces for four wins and three seconds, whilst also relishing the Randwick track, two wins and three seconds from seven runs. The query is that this is too short for her, but if she has come along like she’s expected to, she could be a serious player in this. 

Final Word

This race seems to be set up nicely for Verry Elleegant. Barrier 5 gives her the run of the race and she should settle in a great spot with plenty of cover. Adding to factors in her favour, Waller has trained five of the last 10 winners, two horses have been able to win the race back to back over the last 10 years, favourites have won five of the last 10 and horses with a barrier of five or lower have won six of the last 10. 

However, there are multiple in this race that suit the conditions better, whether it be on a good surface or running first up. Kolding had no excuses for his first up run but is a proven 1400m runner, especially on a good track. The two four-year-olds, Mo’unga and Hungry Heart, both enjoy running on good surfaces, have limitless potential and could cause an upset. Think It Over is always over the odds, has incredible first up figures of 6:3-2-0 and prefers a good deck, which he’ll get. 

In saying that, Verry Elleegant is clearly the class horse in the race, has JMac sticking onboard and her run in the Turnbull last Spring, on a good track, should disprove any of those concerns. Hopefully she drifts on the day but with Sportsbet offering bonus back up to 3rd and PointsBet offering bonus back up to 4th, you should be safe to either win or get a bonus back as a worst case scenario. 

Best Winx Stakes Tip: Verry Elleegant – Win ($2.90)

If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our Winx Stakes page for all your punting needs!

*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of Sportsbet.