Track Specialist Sheidel faces tough test in Winterbottom Stakes

Track specialist Sheidel might have won nine times at Ascot but she will still be facing a tough test when she lines up in the Group 1 $1m Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.

Sheidel, above in red and white colours, is set to line up in the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot. Photo by  Ultimate Racing Photos.

Sheidel, above in red and white colours, is set to line up in the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Sheidel began her career in Perth with Lark Hill trainer David Harrison who was able to saddle the mare up for eleven wins, nine of them at Ascot and three over the same course and distance as the Winterbottom Stakes.

The Holy Roman Emperor mare was then purchased by Rob Crabtree’s Dorrington Farm and sent to Lindsay Park at Euroa in Victoria to be trained by David and Ben Hayes and Top Dabernig.

Even though Sheidel has saluted on three occasions under the Lindsay Park banner and has also been Group 1 placed, her new jockey Damien Oliver says that winning on the track previously will be some advantage against a strong Winterbottom Stakes field.

“I think she will run well,” Oliver told racing.com.

“She’s got a great record at the track in her previous life over here in Perth but she wouldn’t have met a field like this before in Perth and it’s quite a strong race with a few of the eastern-states horses coming over.”

Oliver has ridden Sheidel once for a win in the Listed $120,000 Sheen Group Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield during the 2016 Melbourne Autumn Carnival while Matthew Neilson was aboard at her next start when second to Girl Guide in the Group 1 $400,000 UBET Classic (Registered as Robert Sangster Stakes) (1200m) at Morphettville on May 7.

Sheidel has had five different jockeys from five starts during her Spring Carnival campaign that results with wins in Group 3 $150,000 Cape Grim Beef Steaks (1200m) at Caulfield on October 8 for James McDonald and the Group 3 $200,000 Sensis Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on October 29 with Joao Moreira in the saddle.

Oliver takes over from Blake Shinn who was aboard Sheidel when she ran fifth at her latest outing behind Winterbottom Stakes rival Malaguerra in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 5.

Sheidel has drawn barrier six in the twelve horse Winterbottom Stakes field while stablemate Keen Array with Chris Parnham in the saddle will jump from gate six.

Co-trainer Tom Dabernig said the report from Perth were good regarding Sheidel’s chances and she pleased the stable with a solid gallop early in the week.

“Sheidel is a former Western Australian and has good form on the track,” Dabernig said.

“She has thrived since arriving there and David (Hayes) said her work early in the week was excellent, so she has got a great chance.”

In early betting for the Winterbottom Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au Sheidel has remained steady at $11 while Keen Array is at the longer odds of $21.

The Peter Gelagotis trained Malaguerra has a slight advantage at $3.40 at the top of the market order over Joe Pride’s Terravista at $3.50 with Rock Magic the best of the local sprinters at $8.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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