Also at Royal Randwick in Sydney, French 2000 Guineas & French Derby-winning shuttler Lope De Vega (Shamardal-Lady Vettori, by Vettori) added a group success when Qatar Bloodstock-owned imported Irish 5YO entire Endless Drama (Lope de Vega-Desert Drama, by Green Desert) was stoked up for trainer Chris Waller to catch long-time leader, 4YO mare Global Glamour (Star Witness-Spectacula, by Testa Rossa) from the fast finishing 4YO gelding Comin' Through (Fastnet Rock-Mica's Pride, by Bite The Bullet) in the $243,000 Gr2 Apollo Stakes (1400m). The victory was the first at stakes level in Australia for Endless Drama. Raced in Europe until late 2016, he took his record to 3 wins & 6 placings (including the Gr1 Irish 2000 Guineas, Gr1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, last year's Gr2 Apollo Stakes and last start's Listed Carrington Stakes) for $397,922 earnings. In addition to Comin' Through, fourth-placed dual Gr1 winner Prized Icon was doing his best work late, and another big feature win doesn't seem far away.
At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Little Avondale Stud's 2007 Champion Italian 3YO Sprinter Per Incanto (Street Cry-Pappa Reale, by Indian Ridge) added a black-type success when 5YO New Zealand-bred gelding Lanciato (Per Incanto-Surreptitious, by O'Reilly) continued his impressive recent form when overcoming trouble in running to land the $150,000 Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m) for 3YO+, defeating Prized Icon & Endless Drama. This was the first stakes victory for Lanciato who improved his record to 6 wins and 7 placings from 19 starts for $295,468 in earnings.
Champion mare Winx will face eight rivals in Saturday's Gr1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill. The world's best turf horse will be seeking her 16th consecutive victory and her 11th at Gr1 level in the $1 million weight-for-age event which is one of five Group One features on Golden Slipper day. The Chris Waller-trained mare has drawn barrier eight for the time-honoured event for which she is a $1.15 chance with Tab. According to the market, the only horse expected to pose any sort of threat to Winx is Chautauqua who is rated an $8 chance. Of the original eleven horses nominated, only Black Heart Bart and Happy Clapper failed to accept. The final field is:
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $600,000 weight-for-age Gr1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) to be run at Royal Randwick this Saturday. The highest rated horse in the race is champion mare Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) who will be seeking her 15th consecutive victory, and her 11th at the elite level, after resuming with a typically brilliant win in the Gr2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) two weeks ago. The world's best turf horse has drawn perfectly in barrier four and is the $1.10 favourite for the race. The only other horse under double-figure odds is Winx's arch rival and Apollo Stakes runner-up Hartnell ($8) who has drawn wide in barrier ten, while Apollo Stakes third Endless Drama is next best at $15 (barrier 7). Remarkably, such is Winx's dominance, every other runner is $51 or longer. The final field is:
1. HARTNELL (John O'Shea-Brenton Avdulla) 59kg (10)
2. PREFERMENT (Chris Waller-Joshua Parr) 59kg (8)
3. GRAND MARSHAL (Chris Waller-Jason Collett) 59kg (5)
4. WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (Chris Waller-Tim Clark) 59kg (1)
5. LIBRAN (Chris Waller-Glyn Schofield) 59kg (3)
6. MAGIC HURRICANE (John O'Shea-Christian Reith) 59kg (2)
7. TAVAGO (Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-Tommy Berry) 59kg (6)
8. ENDLESS DRAMA (Chris Waller-Tye Angland) 59kg (7)
9. WINX (Chris Waller-Hugh Bowman) 57kg (4)
10. LASQUETI SPIRIT (Lee Curtis-Jay Ford) 53kg (9)
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy) added a Group success when champion 5YO mare Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) resumed with a comfortable 2.8 length win for trainer Chris Waller and jockey Hugh Bowman in the $250,000 weight-for-age Gr2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) for 3YO+, over 6YO UK-bred gelding Hartnell (Authorized-Debonnaire, by Anabaa) & 5YO Irish-bred entire Endless Drama (Lope de Vega-Desert Drama, by Green Desert). Having her first competitive race start since winning her second Cox Plate by a record-breaking 8 lengths in October, Winx showed why she is rated the world's best turf horse by posting her 14th consecutive victory matching the winning sequence of the legendary Phar Lap. Her incredible record now reads 18 wins (including the Gr1 Cox Plate - twice, Gr1 Caulfield Stakes, Gr1 George Main Stakes, Gr1 Doncaster Mile, Gr1 George Ryder Stakes, Gr1 Chipping Norton, Gr1 Epsom Handicap, Gr1 Queensland Oaks, Gr1 Warwick Stakes, Gr2 Apollo Stakes, Gr2 Theo Marks Stakes, Gr2 Phar Lap Stakes & Gr2 Furious Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Australian Oaks & Gr1 Flight Stakes) from 24 starts for $9,493,925 earnings. A $230,000 purchase for Magic Bloodstock from the Coolmore Stud draft at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Winx has now earned her connections prize money of $9,491,925. Jockey Hugh Bowman commented: "With the genuine speed I was able to travel really comfortably throughout. She was a little flat-footed when the pressure when on at the 600 [metres]…but within a blink of an eye it was all over," he told Sky Racing. Trainer Chris Waller said: "There will be a day when her sprint is not quite there and another champion takes her mantle, and we're prepared for that, but we are enjoying the ride while it lasts," he said. Winx will make her next appearance in the Gr1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on 25 February.
Champion mare Winx is the star act among the seventeen horses nominated for Saturday's Gr2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick. The eyes of the racing world will be fixed on the 10-time Gr1 winner, who hasn't raced since her stunning and record-breaking 8 length win in the Cox Plate in October. The Chris Waller-trained Winx is currently a $1.20 Tab favourite for the $250,000 feature, ahead of Caulfield Guineas winner Divine Prophet at $11, and Cox Plate runner-up Hartnell & dual Gr1-winning filly Global Glamour at $15. Chris Waller could have as many as six runners in the race with Winx's stable-mates Preferment, Libran, Sacred Master, Endless Drama and Grand Marshal also nominated. Waller has mapped out a four-start autumn campaign for Winx which will see her run in the Apollo, the Gr1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on 25 February, the Gr1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on the 18 March, before ending her campaign in the showpiece event of The Championships - the $4 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on 8 April. Click here to view all the nominations for Randwick on Saturday.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $2 million weight-for-age Gr1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) to be run at Flemington this Saturday, the last day of the Melbourne Cup carnival. Despite a purse of $2 million, the Emirates Stakes, formerly known as the Mackinnon Stakes, has failed to attract a capacity field of 16 with just 13 horses entered in the race. However, it still promises to be a high class affair with the likes of Gr1 winners Palentino, Hauraki, Happy Trails, The United States, Vanbrugh, and Awesome Rock set to line up. Caulfield Cup runner-up Scottish and Cox Plate fourth Vadamos are the only international runners in the race. For French star Vadamos, who is part-owned by John Camilleri of Fairway Thoroughbreds, it will be his final racetrack appearance before retiring to Tally-Ho Stud in Ireland. Favourite for the race is currently The United Stakes at $3.70, ahead of Vadamos at $4.60 and Scottish at $4.80. The Emirates field is:
1. HAPPY TRAILS (Paul Beshara-Dwayne Dunn) 59kg (8)
2. HAURAKI (John O'Shea-James McDonald) 59kg (1)
3. THE UNITED STATES (Robert Hickmott-Kerrin McEvoy) 59kg (11)
4. HAPPY CLAPPER (Patrick Webster-Brenton Avdulla) 59kg (13)
5. VADAMOS (Andre Fabre-Damien Oliver) 59kg (7)
6. AWESOME ROCK (Leon & Troy Corstens-Stephen Baster) 59kg (9)
7. SCOTTISH (Charlie Appleby-William Buick) 59kg (6)
8. ENDLESS DRAMA (Chris Waller-Craig Williams) 59kg (4)
9. PALENTINO (Darren Weir-Mark Zahra) 58.5kg (5)
10. VANBRUGH (Chris Waller-Ben Melham) 58.5kg (10)
11. TIVACI (Michael Moroney-Patrick Moloney) 58.5kg (12)
12. GOOD STANDING (James Cummings-Chad Schofield) 51kg (3)
13. SEABURGE (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig-D Yendall) 51kg (2)
At Newbury in the UK, French 2000 Guineas & French Derby winning shuttler Lope De Vega (Shamardal-Lady Vettori, by Vettori) celebrated an elite success when 4YO entire Belardo (Lope de Vega-Danaskaya, by Danehill) scored by 1-length for trainer Roger Varian in the Gr1 Lockinge Stakes (8 furlongs) for 3YO+, over 5YO mare Euro Charline (Myboycharlie-Eurolink Artemis, by Common Grounds) & fellow 4YO entire Endless Drama (Lope de Vega-Desert Drama, by Green Desert). This was the second top-flight victory for the Godolphin-owned Belardo who advanced his record to 5 wins (including the Gr1 Dewhurst Stakes) and 2 placings (including the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes) from 15 starts for £772,185 earnings. "He salvaged his year last year chasing home Solow at Ascot and that told us we needed to keep him in training this year," winning trainer Roger Varian told Racing Post. "I'm delighted for his owners and they kept the faith in him. His work has always been outstanding at home and he deserved another big one."
At the Curragh in Ireland, former Coolmore shuttler and triple Gr1-winning champion European sire Galileo (Sadler's Wells-Urban Sea, by Miswaki) celebrated a Gr1 success when 3YO colt Gleneagles (Galileo-You'resothrilling, by Storm Cat) scored by 0.75-length for trainer Aidan O'Brien in the Gr1 Irish 2,000 Guineas (8 furlongs) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO colts Endless Drama (Lope de Vega-Desert Drama, by Green Desert) & Ivawood (Zebedee-Keenes Royale, by Red Ransom). This was arguably Gleneagles best performance to date, as he had to extricate himself out of an awkward spot on the fence with a furlong to go and fight hard to hold off runner-up Endless Drama. The victory was his third at Gr1 level and took his record to 6 wins (including the Gr1 English 2,000 Guineas & Gr1 National Stakes) from 8 starts for £669,657 earnings. Winning trainer Aidan O'Brien said he would not rule out starting Gleaneagles in the Epsom Derby on 6 June, but suggested the star colt was better suited to a mile. "The lads wanted him left in the Derby, Giovanni Canaletto runs tomorrow and we will make up our mind in the next week or so," he told Racing Post. "He works like a miler but he showed something today he has never shown before and he had to fight for three furlongs. The ground was a bit slower than suited him but Ryan gave him a great ride." The beautifully bred Gleaneagles (who is out of a sister to Giant's Causeway) is now as short as 4-7 for next month's Gr1 St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and is a general 3-1 chance for the Derby.