Eight runners have been included in 2016 Warwick Stakes nominations, undoubtedly headlined by the pending return of champion mare Winx at Royal Randwick this weekend.
A multiple Group 1 winner, Winx is undefeated since returning to winning form in the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) during the 2015 Winter Carnival; posting an impressive nine consecutive victories.
Resuming last spring for an impressive win in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m), Winx claimed her second Group 1 success in the Epsom Handicap (1600m) before she delivered a talented field a resounding defeat to take out the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
Returning to racing this year for a win in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m), the Street Cry mare has since won each of the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Lucia Valentina returned to scintillating form in autumn and will also make her competitive return on Saturday, after being included in 2016 Warwick Stakes nominations.
Breaking through for a maiden win at the highest level in the 2014 edition of Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), Lucia Valentina travelled overseas following a competitive 2015 campaign and finished a credible fifth in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m).
Resuming this year for fourth in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 12th, the Savabeel mare produced a career-best effort to take out the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) most recently on Day 2 of The Championships.
The Lindsay Park-trained Dibayani has returned to racing in slick form this time and is poised to contest the Warwick Stakes second-up.
Beginning his racing career in Ireland before being sold and transferred to Hong Kong, Dibayani has been unlucky not to claim a maiden win at the highest level and finished second in the Group 1 Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) most notably before arriving in Australia.
Having savaged the line for second in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) first-up a fortnight ago, the Shamardal gelding will relish a step up in distance for the Warwick Stakes and arguably poses the biggest threat to Winx’s winning streak.
The 2016 Warwick Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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2016 Warwick Stakes Nominations
|#||Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|2||648915x41x||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||M||6||Kris Lees||2||57kg||116|
|3||701x90324x||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||8||Chris Waller||3||59kg||111|
|4||14x4650x5x||HARTNELL (GB)||G||6||John O’Shea||4||59kg||110|
|5||003x08533x||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||G||7||Chris Waller||5||59kg||108|
|6||3x354094x2||REBEL DANE||H||7||Gary Portelli||6||59kg||107|
|7||399x4249x2||DIBAYANI (IRE)||G||7||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||7||59kg||105|