2021 Winx Stakes preview & best bets | Randwick | August 21

Verry Elleegant
Verry Elleegant and James McDonald after taking out the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick. (Bradley Photography)
What Winx Stakes 2021
Where Royal Randwick Racecourse – Alison Rd, Randwick NSW 2031
When Saturday, August 21 | 3:45pm AEST | Race 8
Prizemoney $500,000
Distance 1400m
Status Group 1
Conditions Weight for age
2020 Winner Verry Elleegant (9) | T: Chris Waller | J: James McDonald (57kg)

HorseBetting’s Sydney form analyst brings you his top betting picks in the first Group 1 of the 2021/22 Australian racing season, the $500,000 Winx Stakes. The 1400m race is named in honour of the great mare who won this race in three consecutive years from 2016 to 2018, and her successor to the throne in Australian racing, Verry Elleegant, will look to make it back-to-back wins in the Randwick feature when she goes around as the $3 favourite. The 14-horse field for this 1400m weight-for-age race does not look to boast a great deal of speed beyond Dreamforce ($13), while Brandenburg ($41), Mount Popa ($61) and Kolding ($4.80) are likely to be handy in the run.

Boy, it’s hard to go past the Queen of Australian racing in an event that she won last year. Verry Elleegant simply has a will to win like no other horse, which brings her right into this race despite the 1400m being short of her best. The six-year-old mare gets in wonderfully at weight-for-age level given she is the highest-rated horse in the race, and she has drawn perfectly in barrier five. In this race last year, the eight-time Group 1 winner settled pretty wide in the run, was headed in the straight by her stablemate, Star Of The Seas, and still managed to fight back and win, so with a far more economical run from gate five, she should be might hard to stop in her bid to go back-to-back. James McDonald knows this mare exceptionally well and believes that she has come back even better this time in. She is just so classy.

As mentioned above, Star Of The Seas finished second to Verry Elleegant in this race last year at the same price that he has opened up at this time ($31), so we cannot ignore him. The seven-year-old son of Ocean Park has a brilliant first-up record, winning two and placing second three times from seven attempts, and that alone should see him right in the finish. Star Of The Seas always races well at Randwick, figuring in the placings on six occasions from 12 starts here, and the 1400m is right up his alley. The Chris Waller-trained gelding has also placed in the Doncaster Handicap and George Main Stakes at Group 1 level, so we see no reason to dismiss him. He should get in a good spot in the run from barrier nine and be finishing strongly out wide with Jay Ford on his back.

Annabel Neasham’s stable has had a very good year so far, winning a couple of Group 1 races thanks to Zaaki and this resuming four-year-old, Mo’unga. The son of Savabeel won the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas over 2000m on March 27 before running below his best in the Doncaster and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes against the older horses. The entire was a certainty beaten at this track in the Randwick Guineas over the mile in early March and put in a flashing-light run when first-up over this distance at Flemington in the CS Hayes Stakes, so we expect a good showing first-up on Saturday. Tommy Berry will retain the ride, and while the pair will likely have some work to do after dropping to the back of the field from barrier 12, we know this horse has got a serious turn of foot that will put him right in the finish. The Cox Plate is Mo’unga’s main aim this Spring Carnival, and given that a lot of these will be needing a lot further than 1400m, he should be the one that has the adaptability to finish in the trifecta.

2021 Winx Stakes betting predictions

$100 betting strategy
$60 win Verry Elleegant
$40 boxed quinella 6-11-12
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