The Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot is the number one sprint race during Perth’s summer carnival, and it attracts horses from the eastern states just about every year. The 2022 edition has drawn a full field of 16 runners who will compete for the $1.5 million prize pool, with the first horse over the line taking home $822,000 for connections.
Online bookmakers have opened their markets with the Robert Heathcote-trained Rothfire as a $4.80 favourite, closely followed by Vilana from Godolphin ($5). Elite Street ($7) and Paulele ($7.50) round out the runners that are under double figures, but the chances don’t end there. The Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes winner, Miss Conteki ($10), and the Listed Placid Ark Stakes winner, My Bella Mae ($13), also have good chances to record their first Group 1 victories.
There looks to be an abundance of speed in this year’s Winterbottom Stakes, with three natural leaders in Indian Pacific, Sniparoochy and Massimo. We think Sniparoochy will kick up from barrier one and hold the rail, while Indian Pacific and Massimo will have to work across the front of the field from wide barriers. From the inside barriers we should see Rothfire, Beau Rossa and This’ll Testya settle behind those leaders. Elite Street, Paulele, Miss Conteki and My Bella Mae will sit just worse than midfield, and with a hot speed they should get every chance to run home strong down the outside.
Continue reading for HorseBetting’s top selections and $100 betting strategy for the 2022 Winterbottom Stakes.
Daniel Morton’s star gelding Elite Street will be looking for his second win in three years in the Winterbottom Stakes, after he won the 2020 edition and ran third in the race last year. First-up this preparation in the Group 3 Colonel Reeves on November 12, this son of Street Boss finished fourth behind This’ll Testya after running on from the back of the field. Given that the track played very favourable to leaders all day, this six-year-old’s run was better than it looked, even though he lost by just under four lengths. This guy has a very good record when two runs back from a spell, with four wins from five second-up starts. Brad Rawiller has ridden this gelding at six of his last seven starts, including the win in the Group 3 Roma Cup last preparation. If Rawiller can settle one horse off the fence, just better than midfield, this guy should prove too strong in the concluding stages.
Miss Conteki from the Simon Miller yard will take her place in her first Group 1 race on Saturday, coming off a fifth-place finish in the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes on November 12. Just like the run of Elite Street, this six-year-old mare came from the rear of the field and ran on very well. This daughter of Eurozone won her first two starts this campaign in the Listed Crawford Stakes and Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes, winning both of those races when she really didn’t deserve too. It is hard to knock this very talented mare, considering she has won 11 of her 17 starts; however, she is unknown at this level, so she won’t be our top tip. Even so, we won’t let her go around without our money on her this Saturday.
Rothfire will come over to Perth from the eastern seaboard after running in three Group 1 races during the Victorian Spring Carnival: the Moir Stakes, Manikato Stakes and Champions Sprint. This son of Rothesay brings solid form over with him, but whether he is going well enough this campaign to win at Group 1 level is the real question. If he shows up and gets all the favours, he has the ability to take out the feature.
This’ll Testya won the Colonel Reeves gave Mitchell Pateman his first Group 3 win as a trainer, after she sat on-pace and got all the favours in the one-one position. This daughter of Testa Rossa benefitted from the bias last start over 1100m, but stepping up to 1200m at Group 1 level could be a bridge too far for this mare and she may find a few better on Saturday.