If rivals were going to get the upper hand over Wink And A Nod and inflict defeat on the Justin Warwick-trained mare then they were going to be presented with their best opportunity in the Farnley Stakes (1400m) at Belmont on Saturday.
The daughter of McFlirt was meeting a similar line-up to what she faced when winning the Listed Belmont Newmarket (1200m) and Idyllic Prince Stakes (1300m) but with top weight of 59kg she was meeting her combatants worse off at the weights.
However, in a powerhouse performance that has Warwick assessing Wink And A Nod’s options in the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) in November, the six-year-old cast aside any doubt with an emphatic 3 1/4 length victory.
In the capable hands of Warwick’s daughter, Lucy, Wink And A Nod peeled to the outside on straightening and had the field covered quickly, finishing powerfully from fifth position at the turn to defeat Ask Me Nicely.
Cool Trade hung on for third after snatching an early lead in the straight while Resonates, who attempted to lead throughout, weakened to fourth. Last year’s Farnley Stakes hero, Rock Magic, finished in fifth place.
Wink And A Nod improved her record to 11 wins and four placings from 24 starts with prize money just shy of $400,000.
“I thought the weight would get to her so it was a terrific win,” said Warwick (Justin).
“I’m very lucky to have her in my stable.
“You would have to look at the Railway on that run.”
Dan Morton was quick to place the blame squarely on his shoulders after Red Ora failed when tested over the mile last-start.
But combined with a return to 1200m, a good barrier in gate five and good tempo in the race, Morton had the final laugh.
Red Ora, with William Pike aboard, finished full of running to defeat Petrol Power and Benito in the Hyperno 79, Kingston Rule 90, Let’s Elope 91 Handicap.
“It’s good o have him back firing,” said Morton.
“He’s a quality horse to take to Kalgoorlie (Hannans).”
Kia Ora Koutou has had just the two starts but already is making a huge impact after a resounding win in the Westspeed 3YO Plate (1400m).
Following on from his Pinjarra maiden win, the son of Blackfriars burst clear to put a considerable margin over hot fancy and Listed winner, London Line.