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ASCOT PREVIEW November 28, 2009 WINTERBOTTOM STAKES (WFA 1200M) Race 6, 3.45pm (Perth time) Since Perth Racing revamped the $500,000 Group 2 Winterbottom Stakes (wfa 1200m), run at Ascot, the feature sprint has changed its profile. The Winterbottom, first run in 1952, until 2006 was run on Victoria Derby day – late October or early November. With the switch to December, and now run after the Railway Stakes, the race fits nicely in this new, higher-profile carnival that caters for sprintermilers, who are not as well served in the Melbourne spring. This year the race attracted two Melbourne sprinters, Lucky Secret and Ortensia, but that was reduced to one after Lucky Secret was scratched on Friday morning, due to a cold, before he was due to fly to Perth. Ortensia has been in Perth for two weeks – last week she finished sixth in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot. I am tipping a local to win – the exciting and unbeaten Waratah’s Secret. The colt is four from four and this is his “grand final” in a first preparation that began in August with a six-length win at Belmont. Waratah’s Secret is a winner, but importantly, he wins in fast time, which is the measure of a very good horse. Two starts ago, in his first run at Ascot, and over the Winterbottom distance of 1200m, the colt carved out the trip in a track record 1 min 08.13 secs – a time that will have won any of the past 16 Winterbottom Stakes – since the race was reduced from 1400m to 1200m – by at least three lengths. The fastest 1200m

Winterbottom was 1.08.66, run by Ellicorsam in 2004. The last 3YO to win the Winterbottom was Hardrada in 2002, who also won a year later. Waratah’s Secret is as good as Hardrada. Jockey Paul Harvey will take Waratah’s Secret forward and with Lucky Secret out of the race, he can either sit outside Revolition or park on the outside. This will suit the lightweighted colt and I expect this race to be dominated from the front. Idyllic Prince is in wonderful form. He has won four consecutive weightfor-ages races this campaign. While he liked to dictate the tempo, there is too much speed for him in this race to be in the early dice, but he’s drawn beautifully in barrier five to drop in behind the tempo. The other eastern states visitor Ortensia faces a tough task to back up from her run last week in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) – sixth behind Sniper’s Bullet – after having every chance. Trainer Tony Noonan admits the run took a lot out of the mare, and although the Winterbottom’s 1200m is more to her liking, it is doubtful Ortensia will go into the race at her top. Kid Choisir is drawn to get a nice run from barrier one – he will run a cheeky race. The Frank Maynardtrained colt trailed the pace in the Listed Placid Ark Stakes, but rallied strongly to win convincingly under 59kg. He drops to a handy 53.5kg. Back In Time is the horse with the strong finish. The tips: Waratah’s Secret to beat Idyllic Prince, Kid Choisir. Ortensia and Back In Time

WINTERBOTTOM SPEED MAP Predicted positions on settling

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AND ALSO If you missed the Danny O’Brien train build up a head of steam with a treble at Sandown on Wednesday, don’t panic – when a wagon gets rolling, And Also’s experience is that it does so for some time, so hop on board at Moonee Valley tomorrow. If the O’Brien Express chugs along to the standard the Flemington trainer has set over recent seasons, it could be a profitable trip. Early markets give the stable chances in five races, some multiple. And Also will leave it to you to work out a staking system, but give plenty of thought to all eight runners. Race 1 is a guess with mainly unraced 2YOs, but Star Witness ($4.60) and Trillium ($16) are bred to be goers. Race 3‘s runners are drawn wide so bet with care on whichever you decide is the better of the fillies Better Be The One ($7.50), Rachine ($5.50) and Fabulist ($17). Race 4’s Miss Lily Rose ($2.80) and Race 5’s Lucky Thunder ($3.60) look to be top of the class, and early markets support that. They get weight relief with Bill Egan on the Rose and Nathan Rose on the Thunder. Can the claim offset barrier 14 for Lucky Thunder? If you’ve had your fill from the smorgasbord of betting chances put forward, And Also wonders whether you should feast on Buffett in the last. Your call, but the urge is to have a crack because, although he has only one win from 12 starts, he is getting out to his right distance, in-form jock Nick Hall will help and the $7 is tasty. Stephen Howell


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