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Winterbottom Stakes Tips 2017: Roughie ticks the right boxes at Ascot

  • Who will win the Ascot Group 1?

I simply can’t believe it! Fresh from tipping Great Shot ($26) to win the Railway Stakes last Saturday, the bookies have offered the same odds for another horse I have assessed on top in Saturday’s Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot.

Firstly, I don’t go looking for a horse at odds to tip. I simply crunch the data based on weights and times, look at historical trends and peak patterns, take a few other things into consideration and then try and predict an outcome.

So when I came up with my top pick for the Winterbottom and saw that $26 was on offer again, I really started to get excited because I think this sprinter has a massive chance in what is genuinely a very open contest.

The horse in question is the Simon Miller-trained Whispering Brook.

She was a star filly winning her first five starts in Perth before going to Melbourne where she was beaten a lip in the Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley before finishing 3rd in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) two starts later. 

A 40-week spell followed and she was always going to need a few runs this time before getting near peak fitness.

She finished a narrow 3rd behind Meteoroid and Silverstream in the Birthday Stakes (1200m) at her second run before stepping up to 1400m where she was 2.4 lengths from Silverstream in the Northerly Stakes and then less than half a length from Pounamu in the Asian Beau Stakes.

At her most recent start, she was beaten three-quarters of a length by State Solicitor in the Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m), and State Solicitor is the $3 favourite in the Winterbottom.

But dropping back from 1400m to 1100m is a mountainous task and she ran a brilliant race to finish so close while carrying 2.5kg more than the winner who she now meets 4kg better at the weights.

Her only run at the track and distance was in a time of 1:11.14, but that was as a two-year-old and with natural improvement and strength as an older mare, she’s capable of going around 1:10.1 which is what is needed to have won six of the past seven Winterbottoms.

State Solicitor has run 1:10.650 and 1:10.660 in his two winning times at the track and trip when he was a four-year-old so I don’t think he has much room for improvement on those times which should give concern to favourite backers seeing he needs to go quicker to win this. 

Durendal has finished 1.2 lengths from Great Shot who ran a slick 1:09.130 at the track and trip, but he lacks that killer instinct and hasn’t won in nine starts since coming to Perth.

Profit Street’s best effort at the track and trip was winning a BM72 in 1:10.630, while Rock Magic was 3rd in the Winterbottom last year and is coming off a winless Melbourne campaign. 

Dainty Tess and Caipirinha are the other two locals with records at the track and distance, and although Caipirinha ran 1:09.950 to win the Belgravia Stakes a year ago, she did it with 53kg on her back and has to carry 56.5kg this time.

I think the biggest danger comes in the way of South Australian Viddora who was narrowly defeated in the Moir Stakes (1000m) and looked a bit unlucky when finishing two lengths from Hey Doc in the Manikato Stakes (1200m).

But I’m worried she’ll get caught wide from barrier 7 and may have to cover ground, while the fact she has placed twice from six attempts at the trip is also a slight concern.

Santa Ana Lane also looms as a threat following an impressive victory in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), but I’m not a fan of him going into this first-up off a 62-day break. 

Whispering Brook also jumps from barrier 8 which has produced three of the past four winners of this event, while her jockey Jason Brown has won this race twice with Magnifisio (2014) and Barakey (2012).

Brown came from barriers 9 and 10 to win on those occasions so he’ll know just what to do from barrier 8 with a speedy mare like Whispering Brook who will be aiming to charge across and sit up on the speed.

She’s rock-hard-fit, looks perfectly suited getting out to 1200m after dropping back sharply from 1400m to 1100m, and she’ll take some catching with blinkers and a tongue tie on for the first time.

*State exclusions apply to some offers. NSW Residents are excluded from welcome bonuses. Please read the T&Cs of each offer with each bookmaker.


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Winterbottom Stakes Tips 2017: Roughie ticks the right boxes at Ascot

The Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) takes place at Perth’s Ascot Racecourse on Saturday, December 2, and a roughie can pop up at big odds.

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