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Three times Cox Plate winner Winx will have to conquer five rivals to stretch her winning run to twenty-four when she lines up in the 2018 Group 1 $1m The Agency George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.

Winx, above, will face off against 5 rivals in the 2018 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Winx, above, will face off against 5 rivals in the 2018 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Winx, with Hugh Bowman in the saddle again, has drawn the outside barrier in the six horse George Ryder Stakes field, the race she has won the last two years.

Winx heads to the George Ryder Stakes with one lead up run under her belt, but looked better than ever in in producing a first up seven lengths victory in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on March 3.

Trainer Chris Waller has reported that the super mare has come through that run in great order and is ready to chase a third straight win in the weight for age George Ryder Stakes.

“She’s exactly where we need her to be,” Waller said.

“We saw how good she was first-up and we often see her go into a career rating at her second-up run so that’s when she’s at her best.”

Epsom Handicap winner Happy Clapper will carry the number one saddlecloth and will jump from barrier four with Blake Shinn to ride.

Shinn was board the Pat Webster trained Happy Clapper for his win in the Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick during the 2017 Spring Carnival and was in the saddle again for his first up win in the Group 1 $500,000 Bisley Workwear Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on March 10.

Trainer James Cummings is set to pit his quality three year old Kementari up against the world’s best galloper but said the George Ryder Stakes fits in perfectly with the colt’s Doncaster Mile preparation.

“I feel like the George Ryder is the run the colt is definitely going to need in the lead-up to the Doncaster, which is the race we have our eyes firmly fixed on at the moment,” Cummings told AAP.

“And of course coming up against Winx is something that we have the greatest amount of respect for when it comes to the challenge of that event.”

Kementari has drawn next to Winx in barrier five and will be ridden by Brenton Advulla who replaces the suspended Glyn Schofield who has been aboard the Lonhro colt for his three undefeated starts this campaign, including a last start win in the Group 1 $1m Mostyn Copper Group Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on March 10.

Bjorn Baker’s new stable acquisition Crack Me Up (Jason Collett) will jump from barrier two while trainer Kris Lees will saddle up Clearly Innocent, barrier three with Tommy Berry, and Invincible Gem, barrier one with Zac Purton.

Final field for 2018 George Ryder Stakes

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 5x121262x1 HAPPY CLAPPER Patrick Webster Blake Shinn 4 59kg 116
2 113x385x66 CLEARLY INNOCENT Kris Lees Tommy Berry 3 59kg 110
3 211×214191 CRACK ME UP (NZ) Bjorn Baker Jason Collett 2 59kg 106
4 11x11111x1 WINX Chris Waller Hugh Bowman 6 57kg 132
5 41112x13x3 INVINCIBLE GEM Kris Lees Zac Purton 1 57kg 108
6 1x4320x111 KEMENTARI James Cummings Brenton Avdulla 5 56kg 109

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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