Seven runners have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s 2016 Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick; all seven previous winners at the highest level of racing but undoubtedly highlighted by the return of champion mare Winx.
Winx broke through for her maiden Group 1 win in the 2015 edition of the Queensland Oaks (2200m), and has not looked back since.
Returning last spring for a classy win in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m), the Street Cry mare claimed herself Group 1 triumph in the Epsom Handicap (1600m) second-up before undoubtedly producing a career-best effort to win the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
Taking out the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) upon resuming this year, Winx claimed consecutive wins in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) before she returned to the paddock.
Winx will leave from the ideal barrier 4 in the Warwick Stakes, will carry only 57kgs and will be partnered by regular hoop Hugh Bowman.
Rebel Dane will contest the Warwick Stakes second-up on Saturday and is arguably the best positioned to upset Winx; albeit unlikely.
Winner of the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), Rebel Dane resumed in autumn for third in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m); progressing to fifth in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and fourth in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m).
While unable to figure in his next two starts, the California Dane entire returned to the paddock after running fourth in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) on April 16th.
Sure to have taken plenty of benefit from his first-up run for second in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m), Rebel Dane is sure to relish a return to his pet distance and will leave from barrier 2 with Tommy Berry in the saddle on Saturday.
Three stayers will resume in the 2016 Warwick Stakes; Who Shot The Barman (barrier 7), Hartnell (barrier 3) and Grand Marshal (barrier 5) who are all sure to take plenty of benefit from the race, while both Vanbrugh (barrier 6) and popular mare Lucia Valentina (barrier 6) are not without a chance at the distance.
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2016 Warwick Stakes Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||701x90324x||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||7||59kg||111|
|2||14x4650x5x||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||3||59kg||110|
|3||003x08533x||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||5||59kg||108|
|4||3x354094x2||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Tommy Berry||2||59kg||107|
|5||2111x0649x||VANBRUGH||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||6||58.5kg||99|
|6||x111x1111x||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4||57kg||123|
|7||648915x41x||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||1||57kg||116|