Chris Waller’s champion mare Winx has drawn the rails in the 2017 Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Winx will be chasing her twentieth win in succession when she lines up against eight rivals in the Randwick 1600m weight for age contest with regular jockey Hugh Bowman in the saddle again.
Winx is the winner of her last nineteen starts and will be having her third 2017 Spring Carnival outing on Saturday as she heads towards attempting to win her third Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 28.
The Street Cry mare has proven to be the superior middle distance weight for age horse over the last two seasons and had four and three quarter lengths to spare over Criterion when she won the 2015 Cox Plate and then annihilated last year’s field with an eight lengths victory over Hartnell.
Winx has had two close calls at both her runs this campaign at Randwick but has produced two breathtaking performances to keep her winning run going with a win over her stablemate Foxplay after missing the start in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 19 and then she had to chase the tearaway leader Red Excitement to claim victory in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) two weeks later.
Winx will also be chasing back to back wins in the George Main Stakes after beating the Godolphin stablemates Hauraki and It’s Somewhat twelve months ago.
Waller will saddle up five of the nine runners in the George Main Stakes, McCreery (Michael Walker, barrier 9), Mackintosh (Glyn Schofield, 2), Tom Melbourne (Michael Walker, 7) and Warwick Stakes runner up Foxplay (Brenton Avdulla, 3).
McCreery and Tom Melbourne are also acceptors in the Group 3 $150,000 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) on the same program.
Red Excitement with Josh Parr to ride again has drawn barrier four but the Gerald Ryan trained eight year old might not get his own way in front again with the front running Ecuador also an acceptor for the George Main Stakes.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Ecuador has drawn barrier five with regular rider Adam Hyeronimus in the saddle again and that combination is coming off a last start fourth to Happy Clapper, after setting the pace, in the Group 2 $200,000 Tattersalls Club Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 2.
Happy Clapper from the Pat Webster stable is stepping back up to Group 1 company following his Tramway Stakes win and will jump from barrier eight with Blake Shinn replacing the suspended Josh Adams.
The Tim Martin trained Heavens Above makes up the nine horse field and will jump from barrier six with Tye Angland retaining the ride.
Final Field for the 2017 George Main Stakes (1600m)
|#||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||469x2125x1||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Blake Shinn||8||59kg||113|
|2||x113380x34||ECUADOR (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Adam Hyeronimus||5||59kg||110|
|3||3311255×42||RED EXCITEMENT||Gerald Ryan||Joshua Parr||4||59kg||110|
|4||2x156495x8||MCCREERY (GB)||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||9||59kg||106|
|5||x13540x0x6||MACKINTOSH (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||2||59kg||103|
|6||23x6905x22||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||7||59kg||103|
|7||11x1111x11||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||1||57kg||132|
|8||1670x910x5||HEAVENS ABOVE||Tim Martin||Tye Angland||6||57kg||108|
|9||14x24141x2||FOXPLAY||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||3||56.5kg||112|