The market says it’s a one-act affair in the 2016 Group I Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) so punters may go searching for the second horse in order to find some value through the quinella or exacta.
Criterion snared the runner-up prize in the Cox Plate but who will it be on Saturday in the Chipping Norton Stakes? Photo: Darryl Sherer
Chris Waller trains $1.30 favourite Winx and also has four other runners engaged in the 12-horse field.
Waller has Preferment ($67), Who Shot Thebarman ($126), Grand Marshal ($151) and Storm The Stars ($26) competing for the $600,000 prizemoney on offer.
Storm The Stars was a multiple Group I placed performer in Europe and is having his first Australian start in the Chipping Norton Stakes.
“I’ve got myself convinced he’s a decent horse,” Waller said. “He’d be my second pick of the five.
“I know Preferment needs 2000m. I know Who Shot Thebarman needs 2000m plus and I know Grand Marshal needs 2400m plus.
“He’s trialled OK. He hasn’t trialled badly but he certainly hasn’t trialled brilliantly. The sheer fact is that he needs distance for that superiority to kick in.
“I reckon over a mile you’ll see a flashing light on his head the last part.”
Waller knows Group I wins don’t come easy, so whilst extremely happy with Winx, pays due respect to the opposition.
“Never under-estimate the Australian stayers over a mile,” Waller said.
“We saw it last year with Hartnell. Dibayani will improve. There are some class horses there.”
But at the end of the day it’s only bad luck that’s likely to stop Winx continuing her winning streak – aiming for seven straight victories on Saturday.
“Faultless,” Waller said. “She’s a dream. A dream to be training.”
“There is less pressure coming into this. I know where she is at and she should be able to take up a position anywhere.”
Waller’s other fancied runner at Randwick is tough mare Amicus ($7) in the Group II Guy Walter Stakes (1400m).
Already a Group I winner, Amicus resumed with a strong victory in the Group II Breeders Classic (1200m) at Randwick three weeks back but has a tricky draw on Saturday.
“She’s drawn 10 of 10,” Waller said. “If anybody can at the moment Hugh (Bowman) can. He’s going terrific.”
Click here to access Racenet’s free formguide for 2016 Chipping Norton Stakes day.