Form Focus Fact Sheet
The 97th Winx Stakes Fact Sheet
The 97th Winx Stakes
Previously Known As: The Warwick Stakes
1400m / Group 1 / Weight for age / First run: 1923
The Warwick Stakes (6 furlongs) was first staged at Randwick on Saturday, September 1, 1923. The race went to the Victorian visitor Sunburst, trained by Eric Connolly and ridden by George Harrison in front of an estimated attendance of 35,000.
In 1925 the distance was changed to 7 furlongs, then extended to 8 furlongs in 1926. Reverting to 7 furlongs in 1938, the race became 1400m in 1972 (when metrics commenced). In 2000 & 2001, the race was run over 1300m. In 2018, the Warwick Stakes was upgraded to Group One status and re-named the Winx Stakes.
Traditionally staged in mid to late August, the Warwick Stakes has been conducted at either Warwick Farm or Randwick, although Canterbury hosted the 2000 edition.
Winners over the first 50 years include icons such as Tulloch, Bernborough, Amounis, Chatham (x2), Flight, Limerick (x3), High Caste, Windbag, Sky High (x2) and Whittier.
Kingston Town (x3), Super Impose(x2), Shaftesbury Avenue, Filante (x2), Sunline, Lonhro (x2) and Winx (3) are notable winners over the past 40 years.
Training legend Tommy Smith holds the trainers record with 10 winners, from 1953 (Tarien) to 1982 (Kingston Town). Jack Denham and Chris Waller have each trained five winners of the race.
Darby Munro holds the record wins for a jockey with 6 – Rogilla (Dead heat in 1935), Allunga (1937), Beaulivre (1940), Katanga (1943), Removal (1945) and Tarien (1954). Hugh Bowman is one behind Munro, having scored three times on Winx (2016/2017/2018) plus Royal Descent (2015) and Racing to Win (2006).
Heavy tracks over the past 10 years (2011, 2014), and important to note that from 2010 to 2013, the venue was Warwick Farm
50% of the last 10 winners have gone to the Waller yard – the stable had four of the ten starters in 2019 (all unplaced), including Verry Ellegant ($5) who was ninth. Gai Waterhouse is yet to win this race (6 minor placings). John Hawkes won with Lonhro (2003, 2005)
No Bowman this year; McEvoy (2011, 2012), Clark (2010, 2019), Schofield (2014) and Boss (2004) all previous winners
A/S (Age & Sex):
Noteworthy here is the non-appearance of 4yo winners in the last ten years – the last time a 4yo male won this race is 1996 (Filante). An 8yo has saluted 4 times, while mares have scored on 12 occasions (Sunline-1999, Flight-1944 are the only 4yo mares to score)
OR (Official Handicap Rating):
Samadoubt came into the 2019 edition with a 97 OR – the first time the winner has had a Handicap Rating below 108 over the past decade – indicating that class frequently prevails
Note here that the field size has not exceeded 14 over the past decade. Barrier one was last successful in 2005 (Sir Dex)
Putting the trio of wins by Winx to the side, we see the favourite landing just twice over the last 10 years – Pinwheel (2011, 2012). Since 1979 (40 runnings), the favourite has arrived 18 times (22% SR) – Kingston Town and Winx supplying 6 of those 18
500/1 was the SP for Pablo’s Pulse (1987) – the longest-priced winner of a feature race in Australian race history. Samadoubt ($31) became the third longest-priced winner of the Warwick after Sir Dex ($41-2005)
Winx ($1.10f) in 2017 is the shortest-priced winner, followed by Limerick (1/6f) in 1928. A total of 40 horses have started “in the red” in this race for 24 wins, 10 seconds & 3 thirds
|wdt_ID||YEAR||WINNER||A/S||OR||LAST START||L3||NEXT RACE|
Fresh seems best judging on the Last Start panel above. Indeed, its a trend relevant to the previous two decades with 15 of the 20 winners on resumption
L3 (Last 3 Starts):
Recent racing does not appear to be any major advantage. In fact, the 3yo Trusting (2009) is the only horse to win this race off 2 (or more) lead-ups since 1987
Winx does make this panel appear complimentary, although last year’s race did prove somewhat influential. It provided future feature winners Samadoubt (Chelmsford), Happy Clapper (Craven Plate), Avilius (George Main), Kings Will Dream (Turnbull) and Verry Elleegant (Hill)
Pros & Cons
Borderline on ratings/WFA form are both Star of the Seas & Quackerjack, while Kolding does have the Waller/Boss “positive”, but WFA first-up a genuine concern
Flit tries to emulate Sunline (1999) and Flight (1944), 4yo mares to win this race. They both were superior (by quite a fair margin) to Flit at four
The three other mares are all market-fancied (under $11). Verry Ellegant obviously a superior horse in soft ground – but fresh at 1400m?
Con Te Partiro out to break Gai’s “hoodoo” in this race – WFA versus the males?
And Melody Belle? Five starts in Sydney – all unplaced
Who’ll be favourite at start time? Perhaps Master of Wine – effective first-up, handicap rating (108) and highly progressive are all a positive
Recent trends of this race do suggest looking for value, with winners priced at $41, $31, $21, $15 and $9 all landing since 2005
Fierce Impact, Imaging & Brandenburg all qualify as value chances this year
Fierce Impact has many bases covered historically, a multiple G1 winner with 112 OR. Effective soft or dry, 1400m and first-up is no problem
Brandenburg is one of the rarities of season 2019-2020 – a 3yo Group race winning colt that has been permitted to race on at four. Made serious progression during the autumn
Imaging was hampered at a critical point in the Missile. Obviously has returned in good order and second-up over 1400m is ideal