Under double wraps: have punters been shafted with Winx spell?

WinxWERE punters treated unfairly this week when Winx was withdrawn from the Queen Elizabeth Stakes?

That’s the hot topic following Chris Waller’s decision to rest the champion mare till spring following its win in the Doncaster Handicap last Saturday.

“I am very mindful that the public do want to see her race on Saturday, but it is more important that the public get to see her race next preparation and beyond,” Waller said.

“She has already had a very heavy workload over the past 12 months and it was only 12 months ago that she was beaten in the Oaks.”

We are not questioning the decision made by Waller, but we are questioning whether punters got a fair deal in regards to all-in futures betting.


Many punters were initially under the impression that Winx would run in the Queen Elizabeth and not the Doncaster. That was obviously not the case and connections decided they could have two bites at the cherry, but after a tough run in the Doncaster, the obvious decision was made to spell the mare.

“I fully realise there will be disappointed parties, but everything was taken into consideration by the owners, who are fantastic people to work with,” Waller said.

“Our final decision was made easier when we kept coming back to longevity for our pride and joy and a horse that has been so well received over the past year by the racing public,” Waller added.

The problem was that all-in betting was available from Saturday through to Monday with Winx paying $1.50 for the win. Punters naturally assumed that Winx will take its place in the Queen Elizabeth and they layed into the $1.50 on offer from various bookmakers.

Those punters will never see their money again and we feel for the punters that parted with their hard earned.

Yes, punting on all-in markets is subject to disappointment and it’s up to the discretion of the punter to know that if the horse doesn’t run, they won’t see their money.

This topic was on the minds of the stewards as well. On Monday the stewards suspended betting for the Queen Elizabeth, which didn’t please either punters of Winx, nor punters that had secured a good price for any of the 16 horses nominated.

Punters that bet the $1.50 lose their money and punters that secured a fixed price for any other runner will now suffer a price deduction.

It’s an unfortunate situation for all involved, but it seems there are always new ways for punters to lose. All-in markets so close to the nomination deadline is a concern for us and we think bookmakers should look at either suspending markets on Monday and Tuesday, or simply offering a fixed-odds market where punters will get there money back if their runner isn’t nominated.


One punter stood to collect $900,000 if Winx won the Queen Elizabeth and jockey Hugh Bowman has commented about why they couldn’t run Winx this Saturday.

“People need to remember that she has taken time to reach her peak,” Bowman said.

“It’s not as if she was dominating her opponents from day one and because of that we’re confident she can maintain her form for next season.

“Why would anyone want to compromise that for one race? She’s never backed up and raced within seven days in any of her 19 starts and if, for whatever reason, she didn’t cop it, then not only do you lose the race but you also risk her for the spring.”

Bowman will now ride second favourite Preferment in Saturday’s group 1, which was an impressive last-start winner.

“He’s obviously the stablemate of Winx and a very accomplished 2000m horse,” Bowman said.

“He’s a two-time group 1 winner over 2000m courtesy of his wins in the Australian Cup and Turnbull Stakes and is coming off a big win in The BMW.”

Sportsbet.com.au has released its final field market where The United States holds favouritism at $4.20 with Preferment, Hauraki and Lucia Valentina all well-liked in the betting.

2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes market:

1. Criterion – $7.00
2. Preferment – $5.50
3. Mongolian Khan – $26
4. Our Ivanhowe – $17
5. The United States – $4.20
6. Happy Trails – $67
7. It’s Somewhat – $17
8. Dibayani – $26
9. Happy Clapper – $13
10. Hauraki – $6.50
11. Leebaz – $126
12. Lucia Valentina – $7.50
13. Rising Romance – $26
14. Fenway – $51
15e. Awesome Rock – $51
16e. Weary – $101

Winx relation goes for big money at sales

The half-brother to champion mare Winx has gone for big money at the Easter Yearling Sales in Sydney on Monday.

The Snitzel x. Vegas Showgirl colt sold for $2.3 million to Gai Waterhouse (bidding for Hussain Lootah of Emirates Park) in partnership with Dubai businessman Nassar Lootah.

Its breeding was made to look even more impressive when its brother, El Divino, dead-heated for first in the Kindergarten Stakes at Randwick last Saturday. Gai Waterhouse tweeted stating the highly-touted colt was “worth every penny”.

“There was much discussion after El Divino won and Hussain said we must have him,” Waterhouse said.

“The moment his brother hit the line he said, ‘let’s buy it’.

“My job now is to get him to the Slipper next year.”

Breeder John Camilleri was over the moon with the price it fetched after selling Winx for only $230,000 at the Magic Millions sale.

“I was hopeful he might get to $1.5 million,” Camilleri said. “He had a reserve of $1 million but to get to the price he did is much more than I thought. The mare is in foal to Snitzel again and I think I might hold onto it.”

Camilleri held onto El Divino which is currently on the fourth line of betting at $12 for the Caulfield Guineas later this year.

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