Winx Almost Short as Possible More Than Two Weeks Out from Ryder

The decisive punters were quick to take $1.15 on Winx for the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500 m) at Rosehill racecourse on March 24.

The race is still more than a fortnight away and already, the TAB has shortened Winx to $1.10, soobviously, there are some punters who are anxious to get a wager in before the obvious happens.

Her last time out, in the Chipping Norton Stakes, Winx jumped at $1.09, so $1.15 must seem like a major bargain. She won that race by seven or eight lengths after she turned on the jets in the last 400 metres.

Punting can be risky, but Winx is the closest to a sure thing to be found in any code. Chris Waller may hold her out, as he did in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes when Hugh Bowman was not available to take the ride due to his suspensions.

Winx will share the bill with the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes, the Ranvet Stakes, the Rosehill Guineas and The Galaxy, but for lovers of Group 1 quality racing, this is a big deal on the autumn thoroughbred racing calendar.

She is going for her third win in the George Ryder. She won from Kermadec in 2016. That race could be described as almost close, as the winning margin was less than two lengths. When she won in 2017, she was nearly eight lengths in front of Le Romain and Chautauqua, and those two are certainly not nags by any means.

Trainer Pat Webster was sanguine about his horse Happy Clapper’s chances against Winx. He told reporters, “He (Happy Clapper) won half a million dollars when he ran second to Winx in the Doncaster a couple of years ago. “We’re happy to say hello to her again.”

That is a somewhat different approach than that taken by more than a few others, who follow Chris Waller’s every move and look for races that do not have Winx in them. Those trainers would rather run for glory, it would seem, but Webster’s sanguine approach is profitable.

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