It’s probably the best day of racing during the Perth Summer Carnival and we’ll be treated to another strong edition of Winterbottom Stakes Day at Ascot.
A smart local contingent will line up alongside a typically impressive group of interstate raiders in the $1 million feature, but the Winterbottom Stakes does look like Trekking’s to lose.
Of course, it’s another late start to the card for punters on the east coast and the Winterbottom will jump at 7:50pm AEDT.
Western Temple has returned to the races in typically strong and consistent form this time and looks the one to beat in the first on Winterbottom Stakes Day. The son of Dream Ahead lost his rider in transit when resuming but hasn’t missed a placed in four starts since; winning over 1400m here two back before another quality effort for third in a tougher race last time. He’s rock-hard fit and will be ridden by W. Pike, who I think can get us off to the best possible start.
Downforce hasn’t tasted anything but success since resuming and looks beautifully placed to record another win at Ascot on Saturday. The Snippetson colt broke his maiden in style when resuming over 1000m here earlier this month, before continuing his rise through the grades in BM66+ company last time out. I’ve loved a lot of horses that are Neville Parnham-trained and Steven Parnham ridden, and this bloke has those credentials.
The Nicconian is going to enjoy good improvement into what will be his second campaign start, and I think that he looks a touch of overs at around the $8.50 mark. The five-year-old son of Nicconi didn’t come up last time in and was sent to the paddock after two starts, but he was outstanding the preparation prior, and there was a lot to like about his first-up run for third a fornight ago. Steve Parnham has options from the rails draw and the horse is up to a race of this quality.
Royal Command will take winning form into the fourth on Winterbottom Stakes Day and can record another one third-up. The Adam Durrant-trained gelding has won six of his fifteen career starts so far and his most-recent effort suggested that he is in for another glittering preparation. Draw fairly and with apprentice Chris Graham’s claim, I think he’s going to be far too good.
Forceful is a classy type and looms as my best bet on Winterbottom Stakes Day. The Hard Spun gelding did take a couple to find his best form when resuming, but recorded an impressive win over a mile here at Ascot two back before placing a close-up second behind Taxagano in the Listed Ascot Gold Cup last time out. The rise in trip should suit and he’ll be piloted by that man William Pike. Bad luck looks his biggest concern.
This looks to be one of the more open races of the day from a betting perspective and I’m eager to have a play on one that is hovering around the $10 mark.
Dickoletto has returned two competitive efforts since resuming, both heralding third placings, and he’ll be faced with ideal conditions in this race. The five-year-old son of Dick Turpin is drawn an absolute peach in barrier 3 and is another horse that will benefit from a claiming apprentice in the saddle.
Similar to its east coast equivalents, this race rich with country horses is an excellent concept and there is a case to be made for several horses fighting their way into the winner’s stall.
I’ve landed on the topweight; four-year-old son of Blackfriars Mr Genoa, who has so-far returned a faultless preparation this time in. As that suggests, Mr Genoa is three from three since resuming, which included a smart win in the Kalgoorlie heat earlier this month. He’s ready to peak in condition and will be ridden by William Pike, who has had success on the horse previously.
I don’t think that there is any doubt that the Winterbottom Stakes is the best race in Perth every year and this looks like being another outstanding edition.
I am a huge fan of Trekking and with appropriate luck in running, I think that he is clearly the horse to beat. He’s a Group 1 winner, has returned several excellent performances and results in races tough than this one and looks well placed to record his second triumph at the highest level. You can read my full preview and find my Winterbottom Stakes first four tips RIGHT HERE.
This is a typically tough way to end Winterbottom Stakes Day from a betting perspective.
Driftstar is a horse that typically enjoys sharp improvement with a run under his belt and he is up to winning at a price ($12 at publish). The Sepoy gelding faded from a forward position to finish sixth here at Ascot first-up, but with improvement he can replicate that run from barrier 3 and will give them something to chase.