Winx has quality challengers in 2017 George Ryder Stakes

By: Mark Mazzaglia
March 15th, 2017

Australia’s glamour mare Winx has a host of quality challengers to take her on as she chases her sixteenth straight win in the Group 1 $1m China Horse Club George Ryder (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

Winx, above, is chasing her sixteenth straight win in the 2017 George Ryder at Rosehill. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos Ultimate Racing Photos.

Winx, above, is chasing her sixteenth straight win in the 2017 George Ryder at Rosehill. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos Ultimate Racing Photos.

Group 1 winners Chautauqua, Le Romain, Hauraki and the well performed Japanese import Tosen Stardom join Winx in the nine horse George Ryder field.

Even though Winx has been completely superior to her opposition in her last fifteen outings, trainer Chris Waller still believes that the world’s equal highest rated galloper will need to be at her best to keep her winning momentum going.

“It’s a great field,” Waller told Racing.com.

“It’s going to be a good challenge. Obviously Chautauqua, and Tosen Stardom are there as is Le Romain and a few others there as well. It’s great for racing and she’ll have to be at her best.”

Winx has drawn barrier eight with Hugh Bowman in the saddle again while the Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua has drawn the rails with Tommy Berry to ride.

Winx claimed her fifteen consecutive win and tenth Group 1 trophy with her two lengths win over Lasqueti Spirit in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on February 25 and  Waller is dropping her back in distance to 1500m for her final lead up to her main Sydney Autumn Carnival target, the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8, day two of ‘The Championships’.

On the other hand Chautauqua continues his step up in distance at his third run in after finishing third first up behind Super Cash and I Am A Star in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 11 followed by a nose second to Le Romain in the Group 1 $500,000 BMW Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on March 4.

Co-trainer Michael Hawkes is excited about the clash of his stable star Chautuaqua with Waller’s glamour mare Winx and is confident that he will give her a good contest.

“It’s going to be a really good race,” said Michael Hawkes who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Wayne.

“It’s going to be a great contest. She hasn’t been beaten in 15 or 16 starts and so it’s up there.”

“We don’t think the 1500m is an issue. He’s had three starts at the 1400 and it’s just a nice race for his next stepping stone.”

Le Romain was spelled after winning the Group 1 $1m Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on October 29 and continued his good Spring Carnival form when he resumed for the Autumn with a first up win in the Group 3 $150,000 The Chi-X Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 13 and then made it a hat trick with his win in the Canterbury Stakes.

The Kris Lees trained Le Romain has drawn barrier seven with Glyn Schofield retaining the ride while Canterbury Stakes third placegetter Hauraki has drawn in close at barrier two with Englishman William Buick to ride.

The Darren Weir trained Tosen Stardom is yet to win at Group 1 level but has been placed twice on Australian soil with a second to Contributor in the 2015 Group 1 $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill and was beaten a nose last start by stablemate Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 $500,000 italktravel Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 25.

Craig Williams was aboard in the Futurity Stakes and will stick with Tosen Stardom who has drawn the outside barrier in the nine horse field.

Waller will have three runners in the George Ryder Stakes and as well as Winx will saddle up last start Liverpool City Cup winner McCreery, barrier six with Kerrin McEvoy to ride, and Irish import Endless Drama from barrier four for Tye Angland.

The remainder of the George Ryder field is made up with Chautauqua’s stablemate Leebaz, barrier three with Christian Reith in the saddle, and the Queensland three year old Sylpheed who will jump from gate five with Kanichiro Fujii to ride.

On Wednesday morning the Rosehill track was rated a heavy 9 after 39.5mm of rain has fallen in the last seven days.

2017 George Ryder Field

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 1311x47x32 CHAUTAUQUA Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Tommy Berry 1 59kg 118
2 7x22251x11 LE ROMAIN Kris Lees Glyn Schofield 7 59kg 114
3 22x12182x3 HAURAKI John O’Shea William Buick 2 59kg 112
4 x51709x4x2 TOSEN STARDOM (JPN) Darren Weir Craig Williams 9 59kg 110
5 x561019x77 LEEBAZ (NZ) Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Christian Reith 3 59kg 107
6 x6251162x1 MCCREERY (GB) Chris Waller Kerrin McEvoy 6 59kg 106
7 x3915x0x36 ENDLESS DRAMA (IRE) Chris Waller Tye Angland 4 59kg 104
8 11x1111x11 WINX Chris Waller Hugh Bowman 8 57kg 132
9 132x147x4 SYLPHEED Toby Edmonds Kanichiro Fujii 5 54kg 72

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