2023 Chipping Norton Stakes preview & best bets | February 25

What 2023 Chipping Norton Stakes
Where Royal Randwick Racecourse – Alison Rd, Randwick NSW 2031
When Saturday, February 25, 2023
Prizemoney $600,000
Distance 1600m
Status Group 1
Conditions Weight For Age
2022 Winner Verry Elleegant (8) | T: Chris Waller | J: James McDonald (57.5kg)

The 2023 edition of the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes is the headline act for the 10-race program out of Royal Randwick on Saturday afternoon.

We’ve got a field of 12 runners assembled for this year’s contest over the 1600m, and it features the spring superstar Anamoe looking to find his eighth Group 1 success.

It’s a quality list of gallopers engaged to knock the champion colt, however, as Chris Waller-trained mares Hinged and Fangirl filled the minor placings in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes last time out. Meanwhile, the likes of Mo’unga and El Bodegon are likely to be big improvers second-up. We also see the return of multiple Group 1 winner Montefilia, who will be looking to spoil the party for Godolphin.

Chipping Norton Stakes odds

As a surprise to nobody, Anamoe ($1.70) has opened a short-priced favourite with online bookmakers. Outside of him, you’re getting some great each-way prices for some talented gallopers. Fangirl is a clear second in the market at around the $8 mark, while her stablemate and Apollo Stakes runner-up Hinged is on the fourth line of betting at $12. Mo’unga ($10) and Montefilia ($18) are sure to have their admirers as well with tempting double-figure odds.

Chipping Norton Stakes speedmap analysis

As was the case in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes, there seems to be a lack of genuine tempo outside of Hinged, who will look to be positive from barrier four. Knights Order is first-up and generally likes to muster speed and should be likely to sit outside Hinged if they elect to press forward from barrier seven. Anamoe should be finding the perfect stalking position from his soft gate and is likely to be finding the one-by-one in the box seat under James McDonald. Fangirl can be closer from barrier one, while staying types Benaud, Montefilia and Huetor are all sure to be dragged back in the field for their respective first-up assignments.

Chipping Norton Stakes form & tips

Anamoe must go on top in this year’s edition of the Chipping Norton Stakes; however, he’s not a betting prospect at the price. The seven-time Group 1 winner was ultra-impressive resuming to score in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes on February 11 and didn’t seem to miss a beat over the 1400m. James McDonald gave him the perfect steer, pinging the lids and finding the one-one throughout, and he maps to get an almost identical run in transit on Saturday. He’s the best horse in the race, hence the short price, and we can see why punters would want to launch in. He’s classy and, all things, even should win the race, but at $1.70 we’re happy to watch him go around. If he proves too good, then so be it.

The each-way bet in the race for us is the Chris Waller-trained mare Hinged. She comes out of the Apollo Stakes as well and ran boldly into second, holding off all challengers bar the champion colt Anamoe. She was first-up and got a lovely time of things up on speed but still had some quality gallopers chasing her through the line. She clung on nicely for second and we can’t see why she won’t do something similar on Saturday. She’s fitter for the run and should find a relatively easy lead again from barrier four, and she’ll have some key rivals chasing a long way out. The track is currently listed as a Soft 7 and although it may be drying into a firmer surface, if there’s any sting out of the ground, it’ll only be a bonus. She’s never missed the frame second-up (4:3-0-1) and we think that trend can continue.

Fangirl is a clear chance on her Apollo Stakes effort as well, running the fastest closing 600m sectional of the race and second fastest of the entire meeting. The only minor concern is the barrier draw. Gate one looks less than ideal for a horse that needs galloping room late; when she got back to the inside first-up on inferior ground, she powered to the line. She’ll be wanting to do something similar, but you’d imagine Kerrin McEvoy will want to be getting around his rivals late in the piece. It’ll take an excellent steer, but she could easily turn the tables with some luck in the finish.

We have all the respect in the world for the returning Montefilia on Saturday, and if she wasn’t coming here on the back of a tough preparation, we would’ve seriously considered her a play in the race. She comes here from a prep where she was unlucky not to win a Caulfield Cup on her way to a Melbourne Cup tilt, but it may have just been too much to handle for this consistent five-year-old mare. Her barrier trial heading into this suggests she’s going well enough to produce something special first-up; however, we need to see her step out before backing her with any confidence. She’s classy, though, and the second-best-rated horse in this race for good reason. Her best form is good enough to be finding the minor money, so if you are playing exotics, she’s a must-have.

2023 Chipping Norton Stakes selections & best bets


$100 betting strategy
$25 win Hinged (#12) @ $12 with Ladbrokes
$75 place Hinged (#12) @ $2.70 with Neds

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