Godolphin runner Hartnell’s 2016 Warwick Stakes odds have continued to drift in the hours leading up to jump at Royal Randwick this afternoon, as punters focus their attention on some of the five-year-old’s opponents.
Hartnell opened at 2016 Warwick Stakes odds of $12 after his allocation of the ideal barrier 3 on Wednesday, but he has drifted to a quote of $15 as champion mare Winx and second-up runner Rebel Dane herald interest.
A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2015 edition of The BMW, Hartnell resumed last spring for fourth in the talent-rich Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) before a credible performance for sixth in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Running on for fifth in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) before ending his year luckless in the Melbourne Cup (3200m), the Authorized gelding returned in autumn for a hit-and-run fifth in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and has trialled reasonably leading into the Warwick Stakes.
James McDonald returns to Hartnell’s saddle this afternoon, who is worth consideration at his current Warwick Stakes odds.
Winx is aiming to post her tenth-consecutive win in the Warwick Stakes first-up this afternoon, and the mare remains a clear and justifiable $1.35 favourite in betting markets.
Claiming her first win at the highest level in last year’s edition of the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m), the Street Cry mare resumed in spring for success in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) before securing dominant wins in each of the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and the Cox Plate.
Resuming this year for success in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m), Winx subsequently won each of the Chipping Norton Stakes, Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Drawn ideally in barrier 4, Winx will carry only 57kgs as a mare and will be partnered by regular and leading hoop Hugh Bowman.
Rebel Dane will arguably have the fitness edge on all of his rivals and is currently perched on the third line at $8.50 Warwick Stakes odds.
Winner of the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), Rebel Dane returned to competition this year for third in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
Progressing to fifth in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and fourth in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m), the California Dane entire failed to figure in his next two starts but closed his preparation fourth in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m).
Having run a close second in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) a fortnight ago, Rebel Dane will relish a return to his pet distance this afternoon.
Lucia Valentina ($6) is the only other runner currently available at 2016 Warwick Stakes odds of less-than $10 with Ladbrokes Australia.