Magnifisio’s Winterbottom Stakes defence took a giant hit after the gun Western Australian sprinter received a horror barrier draw in Saturday’s $1 million Group 1 feature.
Magnifisio repelled the interstate raiders to win last year’s Winterbottom Stakes in a tight contest, but in a major body blow the Magnus mare has drawn the widest gate.
Trainer Vaughn Sigley was just getting over the shock when stable mate, Dawn Approach, fared little better after coming up with barrier 15.
Queensland star Buffering, chasing his sixth win at the elite level, will start from barrier ten. The eight-year-old won this race two years ago.
Buffering, who won the Moir Stakes first-up at Moonee Valley on October 2, heads into the Winterbottom Stakes as the TAB’s $4 favourite.
At $5.50 is second interstate raider, Fast ‘N’ Rocking, who two starts back won at Caulfield before a solid fourth to Chautauqua in the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Prepared by David Hayes and Tom Dabernig, the son of Fastnet Rock has drawn ideally in gate three. Bunbury-born jockey, Damian Lane, takes the mount.
Magnifisio and Lucky Street, drawn awkwardly in barrier 12, share the third line of betting at $7.
Watermans Bay, desperate the shake his Winterbottom Stakes hoodoo is the only other runner under double figures.
The Dan Morton-trained galloper, placed in the previous two Winterbottom Stakes, jumps from gate 11 for Victorian hoop, Steven Arnold.
The seven-year-old son of Eternity Range, a slashing second when first-up in the Colonel Reeves on November 3, is rated a $7.50 chance.
Emergency Silverstream has gained a start in the race after David Harrison elected to take a alternative path and scratch Sheidel.