CHIPPING NORTON STAKES
1600m, $600,000, weight-for-age
* First run in 1925 when won by Wallace Mortlake
* Phar Lap (1930), Bernborough (1946), Comic Court (1951), Delta (1952), Sky High (1962), Rain Lover (1969), Gay Icarus (1971), Emancipation (1984), Our Waverley Star (1987), Octagonal (1997), Lonhro (2003), Tuesday Joy (2009), Winx 2016.
* Tie The Knot won the race four years in a row from 1999-2002.
* The first Group One race of the Sydney autumn carnival
* Trainer Chris Waller is chasing his sixth win headed by last year’s winner Winx. His other winners are: Danleigh (2011), Shoot Out (2012, 2013) and Boban (2014)
* The Apollo Stakes has been a key lead-up with eight of the past 11 Chipping Norton winners running in the Group Two race. Winx won both races in 2016 and won the Apollo again this year.
WHAT THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING:
* “She’s about 98 per cent fit and she is the type of horse who gets better the more she gets into her preparation” – Winx’s trainer Chris Waller.
* “The outside barrier is not ideal because we’ll have to drag back and there’ll be a lot of slow ones in front of us” – Hartnell’s trainer John O’Shea.
* “The Chipping Norton is another stepping stone to the BMW and the Australian Oaks. It would be silly to say she can trouble Winx or Hartnell but if she can finish within six lengths she is going the right way” – Lasqueti Spirit’s trainer Lee Curtis.
* “I’m certainly not saying Caulfield is too hard but at this time of the year it’s a genuine good three track and he’s a horse that wants the cut out of the track. Ideally we don’t want to be going up there and running into Winx and Hartnell but there’s not a lot of choice” – Tavago’s trainer Trent Busuttin.