Apollo Stakes Tips – Tom rates higher than Winx
- Winx can overcome any obstacle and should be winning her 30th successive race.
- Tom Melbourne the real value to Place
Yes, you read the heading correctly, and yes, I’m referring to Tom Melbourne rating higher than the mighty mare Winx in Saturday’s Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
And before you scoff at the idea of a any horse being superior to Winx over any distance at any track, simply look at the figures.
Eight-year-old gelding Tom Melbourne showed he’s returned in great order with a first-up win in the Carrington Stakes (1400m) at this track, and while he hasn’t been a pal to the punters in recent years, he’s racked up more than $1.2 million in prizemoney and you’d love to own him.
Having backed Flow at $7 last start and then watching that galloper firm into $4, it was a horror to watch the perennial bridesmaid Tom Melbourne return to winning form.
And while Tom Melbourne didn’t beat the class of horse he’ll meet on Saturday, his winning time of 1:21.17 ranked extremely well.
Tom Melbourne arguably should have beaten Happy Clapper in the 2017 Tramway Stakes where he was caught three wide without cover around Happy Clapper, and after going forward and challenging on the turn, he beat all bar Happy Clapper who peeled off his back late and gained the upper hand.
Tom Melbourne finished 0.8 of a length behind Happy Clapper in a time of 1:21.97, and second-up in the Bill Ritchie (1400m) at Randwick he was beaten a head by Comin’ Through in 1:21.67.
Last campaign, Tom had to again settle for 2nd in the Tramway when beaten a head by Comin’ Through again, and that was in a slow run 1:22.17.
He then finished 2.5 lengths from Siege Of Quebec in the Bill Ritchie in 1:21.56.
Considering he resumed with a first-up win in 1:21.17, which is the quickest he has ever gone over 1400m at Randwick, it’s fair to argue the eight-year-old is racing in career best form.
He generally improves by a couple of lengths second-up when he tackles the same track and trip, and that surely puts him in the money.
Interestingly, Winx’s best time over 1400m at Randwick on a Good 3 was when winning the 2017 Warwick Stakes in 1:21.87, while her other efforts are as follows: 2017 Apollo Stakes (1:22.57), 2016 Warwick Stakes (1:23.83), 2016 Apollo Stakes and the 2014 Tea Rose Stakes (1:22.83).
On times, Winx’s best effort rates 3.5 lengths below Tom Melbourne’s at the track and trip, and if he improves by two lengths as expected, she’ll have to go 5.5 lengths quicker than she ever has at Randwick over 1400m.
But in fairness, Winx also blew the start in the Warwick Stakes when nailing Foxplay near the line, so she is definitely able to improve on her best effort.
And of course, times are affected by tempo, and if Winx is within a couple of lengths of Tom Melbourne as they straighten, it’s hard to imagine anything else but her winning – she just finds a way to win.
But overall times don’t lie, and Tom’s time must be respected.
I’m not for one second suggesting he’ll beat Winx on Saturday, but he represents great Place value at $2.70, and that’s the way I’ll be playing the Apollo Stakes.