The Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes is one of the highlight’s of the Ascot carnival and last year’s winner Viddora is back to defend her crown.
Only three other horses have won the 1200m sprint twice. Hardradra won in consecutive years (2003-04), while Ortensia (2009-2011) and Buffering (2013-2015) also won the race twice.
Here’s a rundown on this year’s field.
MALAGUERRA – Dual Group 1 winner, but hasn’t won in almost two years. He resumed from an 11 month spell and did not get a lot of luck when 10th of 13 in the G1 Manikato Stakes (1200m). Adding blinkers to this seven-year-old, fitter and could improve.
VOODOO LAD – Honest campaigner, who is yet to crack it at G1 level. Ran on well and finished midfield in the Manikato Stakes behind Brave Smash. Races well fresh and will probably go back from the wide gate. Speed will be on so should suit him and he can finish off strongly.
DURENDAL – He had the gun run tracking the leader last start and went on to win the G3 Colonel Reeves (1110m) this track, beating Belter. Consistent placegetter, but that was first win in almost three years and this much tougher.
REBEL KING – Won a Listed race at Belmont before an ease-up. Multiple gear changes and should race handy, but doubtful he is up to this level.
MALIBU STYLE – At third start from a break won a Listed race (1000m) at Sandown beating Bons Away. Going better than last year when he tailed off in this race.
PROFIT STREET – Ran on well for third behind Dainty Tess in the G3 Prince Of Wales (1000m) and followed that with disappointing run when second last of seven to Durendal. Wet track would improve, hasn’t won for 15 months.
ASHLOR – In the money 14 of 22 starts and facing toughest test here. Raced on speed and was solid win Moonee Valley Hcp (955m). Out to best distance and should get a nice run in transit.
RUNSON – Won two of last three starts. Followed Moonee Valley win with strong third behind Osborne Bulls in the G2 Linlithgow (1200m). Tougher grade and rises 5.5kgs under weight-for-age conditions, but is a progressive type.
BELTER – Won two in a row and then was game second to Durendal in the Colonel reeves. Led and did not settle well, yet still fought on strongly. Has the rails draw so will be on speed again.
VIDDORA – Class runner and won this race last year. Won the G1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley and then didn’t handle the heavy track in the Everest (1200m). There is a stack of speed in this race which will suit her racing pattern and it will take a super effort to beat her.
DAINTY TESS – Won two in a row here and latest was fourth to Durendal in the Colonel Reeves (1100m). She got too far back on a day when it was hard to make ground from the rear. Hit the line strongly and extra distance in her favour.
I’LL HAVE A BIT – Showed she is up to this grade when ran super race for third in the G1 Goodwood behind Santa Ana Lane in May. Has finished third in two runs this time in (Listed level). Should be peaking for this and another that will be suited by an expected hot tempo.
ENTICING STAR – Willie Pike – Adam Durrant combination. Won eight from eight before blotted copybook with a sixth behind Gatting in the G2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m). She got too far out of her ground and although she did not threaten she hit the line well. Trialled strongly since and blinkers go on.
SEANNIE – Won a Benchmark 72 (1200m) this track at her latest run. Massive jump in grade and hasn’t done enough to suggest she is up to it.
VALOUR ROAD – Three-year-old having third start from a break. Won G2 as a two-year-old and needs to lift a lot to get in the money against this quality opposition.
Best: Viddora. Dangers: Voodoo Lad, Enticing Star.