Winx will steal the spotlight from football when she runs an early lap-of-honour at Randwick on Saturday.
Everyone has their favourite Winx story and Vinery partner Greg Perry will have one to relish and rehash if his lightly-raced homebred Cabeza de Vaca (7g Northern Meteor – Dirty) can come a place behind our world-champion mare in the Winx Stakes Gr.1.
Winx has opened at $1.20 and, apart from Kemantari, you can write your own ticket about the rest of the field. Cabeza de Vaca was named after a Spanish explorer and he has won 7 races in 17 starts for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott.
“From Day 1, he showed plenty of ability,” Gai said before he ran a close second in last year’s Villiers Hcp Gr.2 at Randwick. “He’s really well-bred and it always appeared as if he would get better with more racing. He’s so relaxed but we’ve had to be patient with him.”
Perry offered his 2yo half-brother by All Too Hard under the Riversdale Stud banner at the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale in June but took him back home when bidding failed to reach the reserve. Since then the colt has broken in really well at Vinery Stud and the future is looking bright for him as well.
Another horse flying the Vinery flag this weekend is Sharpness. She sports Vinery’s colours in the Toy Show Hcp Gr.3 on a day when they will be hanging from the rafters at Randwick. She’s earned a crack at black-type following wins at Canterbury and Caulfield.
Vinery purchased Sharpness (5m Wanted – Crystal Wit) in partnership for $115,000 at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. She takes on a wide-open field for Team Hawkes and her residual value will skyrocket with a stakes win added to a pedigree that includes Golden Slipper Stakes Gr.1 heroine Crystal Lily.
Melbourne has a 3yo spring preview in the Vain Stakes Gr.3 at Caulfield on Saturday and All Too Hard is double-handed with Rock Hard and Titan Blinders (3c x Blonde Mafia).
Unbeaten colt Rock Hard (pictured) resumes after completing at hat-trick at Caulfield in May. “I’ve always rated him a stakes horse,” trainer Byron Cozamanis declared. “It’s hard to turn them out when they’re winning but we’ve got big plans for this colt.”
Rock Hard (3c x Rock Of Fortune) will follow a path to emulate his sire in the Caulfield Guineas Gr.1 on October 13. “He’s a tough colt and never leaves an oat,” Cozamanis added. “He’s a good mover with a big stride and he stepped up in all three starts during his first prep.”
All Too Hard’s Sydney-based 3yo Outrageous ran an even race first-up in The Rosebud LR last Saturday. “I was pretty happy with him over a distance that was way too short,” jockey Tommy Berry reported. “He was a bit slow out and didn’t enjoy the ground, either.”
Vinery legend More Than Ready has a roll-call of black-type entrants in North America this weekend and his local mare Mulberry Walk can make amends for a first-up loss in Race 1 at Kembla on Saturday.
Mulberry Walk is a half-sister to Chautauqua and that alone ensured she would start a $1.24 favourite on debut at Hawkesbury a month ago. She faded in the straight that day but Snowden Racing is confident of a better showing second-up after a five-length barrier trial win at Randwick.
More Than Ready has Sir Truebadour and Chase Greatness entered for the Skidmore Stakes LR at Saratoga on Friday (7.40am Saturday AEST). And 24 hours later, his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Gr.1 winner Rushing Fall will resume in the Lake Placid Stakes Gr.2 at the Spa.
In Canada, More Than Ready 3yo Say the Word is a 3-1 second-favourite for the Breeders’ Stakes LR at Woodbine. A Keeneland winner for trainer Graham Motion, he’s a Sam-Son Farm homebred and will run 2400m right out in the third-leg of the Triple Crown.