The Chris Waller-trained Winx is the top-rated nomination taken for Saturday’s Chipping Norton Stakes 2016 at Royal Randwick Racecourse.
The Cox Plate winning daughter of Street Cry kicked off her Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign, which will culminate with a $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) run in April, with a brilliant Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) win first-up.
She is nominated to return to Randwick this weekend and continue her gun run by emulating Contributer (2015) who took out the Apollo Stakes – Chipping Norton Stakes double last season.
A total of 15 horses are entered for this year’s $600,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
Winx is one of six for Sydney’s best Waller who has won four of the past five editions of the weight-for-age classic with Danleigh (2011), Shoot Out (2012-13) and Boban (2014).
Boban is back looking for another win, the six-year-old second-up and coming off a close sixth to classy mare Suavito in Flemington’s Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) from February 13.
Waller’s other entries are returning 2015 Turnbull Stakes winner Preferment, imported stallion Storm The Stars who is yet to race down under but has lots of Group 1 placings in Europe, and last year’s Sydney Cup winner Grand Marshal and runner-up Who Shot Thebarman.
John O’Shea and Godolphin won last year’s Chipping Norton Stakes with Contributer and have three entries this season including the 2015 runner-up Hartnell.
Hartnell’s last run was a failed 15th in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) last November, but his record over Saturday’s distance is much better (5-2-2-0) and he has class proven by his Group 1 The BMW (2500m) win at the track last April.
Also representing O’Shea are Apollo Stakes third placegetter Hauraki and last year’s The Metropolitan winner Magic Hurricane.
The other big name entry for Saturday’s feature race is the Murray Baker-trained Kiwi visitor Mongolian Khan.
A four-year-old son of Holy Roman Emperor, the stallion’s last run saw him win Melbourne’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in the spring.
He also has Group 1 winning form in Sydney at Royal Randwick having defeated fellow Chipping Norton hope on Saturday Hauraki in the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) as a three-year-old.
Other notable entries include Bull Point coming off a mile win at the track from February 6, the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Dibayani who ran four lengths away fourth to Winx in the Apollo Stakes first-up and John Sargent’s 2015 ATC Oaks winner Gust Of Wind out to atone for her Apollo 10th.
The full 2016 Chipping Norton Stakes nominations are detailed below, the final field of acceptances and barrier draw released on Wednesday.
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2016 Chipping Norton Stakes Nominations
Royal Randwick Racecourse – Saturday, February 27, 2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|2||565x890x01||BULL POINT||H||5||David Vandyke||99|
|3||x711x60138||CENTRE PIVOT||G||5||Peter Robl||99|
|4||2x0x3399x4||DIBAYANI (IRE)||G||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||105|
|5||1x075003x0||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||G||6||Chris Waller||106|
|6||41x98046x0||GUST OF WIND (NZ)||M||4||John Sargent||106|
|7||2114x4650x||HARTNELL (GB)||G||5||John O’Shea||110|
|9||5x143121x7||MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE)||G||6||John O’Shea||107|
|10||x5383482x0||MESSENE||G||7||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||104|
|11||1151x7431x||MONGOLIAN KHAN||H||4||Murray Baker||114|
|12||28x011907x||PREFERMENT (NZ)||H||4||Chris Waller||111|
|13||512132314x||STORM THE STARS (USA)||H||4||Chris Waller||110|
|14||2x758701x9||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||7||Chris Waller||110|