Form expert Ron Dufficy has Winx on top of his 2015 Epsom Handicap tips, but he believes that the talented mare will start slightly longer than her current price in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Winx returned to the races in the Group 3 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 12 and he stamped herself as clear favourite for the Epsom Handicap with her explosive victory.
Dufficy admits that there is always a bit of a risk throwing your support behind backmarkers in races like the Epsom Handicap, but he told Sky Racing HQ that the daughter of Street Cry’s victory in the Theo Marks Stakes was too impressive to ignore.
“It is three weeks since that brilliant first-up win and she is 1300 to a mile second-up in a big Group 1,” Dufficy said.
“There is always those little problems with backmarkers, but you only just have to replay that Theo Marks win again and then you don’t worry about all those problems.
“She is on top.”
The Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) is always a key lead-up race to the Epsom Handicap and Dufficy believes that talented mares Lucia Valentina and Kirramosa may be the major dangers to Winx.
Kirramosa has not recorded a race win since she took out the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m), but she hit the line strongly to finish fifth in the George Main Stakes, while he believes that the application of blinkers may be able to help Lucia Valentina return to winning form for the first time since she took out the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington a year ago.
“I am terrified of Kirramosa,” Dufficy said.
“I like George Main form as a rule coming into this race and she is ticking over beautifully for a race like this.
“The only little negative is does she want 2000 metres now?
“I think that it is ok.
“Lucia Valentina has the same form lines and I like the fact that Kris has thrown a set of blinkers on her and I like the fact that she has drawn well.”
Winx is currently available at 2015 Epsom Handicap odds of $3.10 with Ladbrokes and she remains a clear favourite from Sadler’s Lake ($7), Lucia Valentina ($8), Entirely Platinum ($8) and Rudy ($11).