The Perth Summer Racing Carnival continues this Saturday at Ascot with the sprinters taking centre stage in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes.
The 1200m feature has attracted some of Western Australia’s brightest starts, including fast-finishing Placid Ark Stakes winner Ripcord, and previously unbeaten runner-up, Oscar’s Fortune.
Overpass is set for another stint in Perth – his first since winning The Quokka earlier in the year – while Triple Missile also has big claims after spending time racing at Flemington recently.
It’s shaping as a wide-open edition, and our thoughts on every runner in this year’s Winterbottom Stakes can be found below!
1. Overpass (11)
Overpass has gone up the rightful favourite after taking out the inaugural edition The Quokka over the track and distance earlier in April.
Bjorn Baker’s five-year-old was enormous that day when making every post a winner, holding on to defeat Amelia’s Jewel and Bella Nipotina by the barest of margins.
The son of Vancouver was only nabbed late by Giga Kick in the Doomben 10,000 a month later, handing in a similar efffort in The Shorts to start the spring when denied right on the line by Private Eye.
He was a class below his rivals in The Everest last time out, but should find this level more to his liking. With Josh Parr still engaged, the pair should be in this for a long way if they can get to the front early.
2. Red Can Man (10)
Red Can Man will line up in the Winterbottom for the fourth year running.
Steven Wolfe’s gelding has yet to place in all three attempts, but this might be his best chance yet based on recent form.
His first-up win in a Stakes race over shorter was full of merit, while he also held his ground nicely for third in the Prince Of Wales earlier in the month.
Third-up, out to 1200m, and likely to challenge on speed, he ticks enough of the boxes as a serious each-way contender.
3. Savatoxl (8)
Savatoxl will make his first start at Ascot coming off a freshen-up.
The old boy kicked off his spring early running back-to-back placings in weaker company at Morphettville before a slight forgive effort in the Feehan Stakes at The Valley where he struggled from a sticky gate.
Will Savage’s eight-year-old boasts an impressive first-up record (10:6-0-1), while he’s also done some of his best racing over 1200m.
Since winning The Goodwood in 2021, his record at the top level hasn’t been great, but a top five finish wouldn’t shock.
4. Hot Zed (2)
Hot Zed rates a live chance, just like he did last year when he made up big ground down the outside to run fourth to Paulele.
The son of Red Hot Choice has gone on to win a Stakes race at Pinjarra, and more impressively, the Group 3 Colonel Reeve Stakes over slightly shorter two weeks ago.
He’s rock-hard fit at this stage of his prep and just needs to find clear running to be a big threat in the finish.
5. Resortman (9)
Resortman boasts a likable first-up record, but it’s hard to ignore the fact it’s been well over a year since he won a race.
We haven’t seen him since he ran third in the Belmont Sprint during the autumn, while his recent trials have left a bit to be desired.
6. Laverrod (15)
Laverrod gets out to a more suitable trip after mixing his form in weaker races.
He held on okay for fourth in a Group 3 first-up and was the victim of a tricky gate and a blown start in the Reeves Stakes two weeks ago.
A place wouldn’t shock based on his third-up record, but losing William Pike in the saddle does put a dent in his chances.
7. Snowdome (18)
Snowdome gets his first crack at a Group 1 on his home track coming off a brave win in the Prince Of Wales to start the month.
The Parnham-trained entire stalked the speed and really knuckled down to get up in his final few strides, a run he can certainly improve on following a four-week gap.
He won quite well at this stage of his prep last time in work, going on to score by over a length out to 1200m a few starts later.
Chris Parnham has been excellent form over the last couple of weeks, and if the pair can establish a spot in behind the speed, they should be finishing well over the top.
8. Triple Missile (1)
Triple Missile presents fitter fourth-up ahead of his return to Perth.
The Lindsey Smith-trained six-year-old has spent time racing in Victoria over the last 12 months, finishing runner-up to Star Patrol in the Gilgai Stakes at Flemington to begin the spring.
He went within a length of Spacewalk four weeks later in the Rising Fast, hitting the line hard in a bunched finish.
With a handful of wins to his name here at Ascot from earlier in his career, he rates one of the main dangers to the favourite.
9. Phanta (17)
Phanta had his chance at a hat-trick denied in the Belmont Newmarket three runs back when beaten less than a length by Valour Road.
He bounced back nicely to finish runner-up in a Stakes race over shorter, before weakening in his final few strides to finish midfield in the Eurythmic Stakes last time out.
He’s nearly six weeks between starts now and looks tested stepping up to Group 1 level for the first time.
10. Clemenceau (14)
Clemenceau is making his second start for the Gangemi team coming off a likable effort fresh in the Reeves Stakes.
The five-year-old by Capitalist hasn’t won in over a year, but he does his Sydney form does read well after finishing fourth to Think About It at Gosford earlier in May.
This is the toughest assignment he’s faced, but having cashed a cheque in all four runs second-up, he might be slightly over the odds.
11. Man Crush (12)
Man Crush is another one facing a big step up in class.
The four-year-old by Manhattan Rain has done some of his best racing over 1200m, but he needs to improve sharply after finishing down the straight in the Reeves Stakes two weeks ago.
As the price suggests, he’s tough to entertain.
12. Go Forward (6)
Go Forward might be going better than his record suggests.
The Written Tycoon six-year-old has gone close to running a place on several occasions this prep, and he was last seen making up a stack of ground to finish fourth in the Reeves Stakes.
If he can settle a little closer in the run this time, another top five finish isn’t entirely out of the question.
13. My Bella Mae (5)
My Bella Mae has been set for this race, but it’s tough to know where she’s at based on her last-start effort in the Reeves Stakes.
The Deep Field mare stalked the speed before weakening around the 200m mark, beaten 1.5 lengths in the end.
Her record over this trip isn’t in question, but whether she has enough left in the tank come the finish is.
14. Flying Missile (7)
Flying Missile defeated Let’s Galahvant two back at Belmont, form that stacks up nicely with that same horse coming out and winning a Stakes race last Saturday.
Her effort from the inside gate in the Jungle Mist two weeks ago was only fair, failing to let down despite having plenty of options at her disposal in the run home.
She’s open to improvement second-up, but this is still a big ask stepping up to Group 1 level for the first time.
15. Ripcord (7)
Ripcord lines up for his seventh career start coming off a narrow but super impressive win in the Placid Ark over the track and trip.
The gelding by Written By kicked off his spring with a close runner-up effort at Belmont, a performance that left trainer Luke Fernie thinking twice about sending him to Melbourne for an assault on the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes.
Instead, the stable decided to remain in Perth, gaining several admirers with a late, swooping effort a fortnight ago down the outside.
Fitness-wise, he should be at his peak with four runs under his belt, while he also has a nice advantage at the weights carrying only 54.5kg’s.
He can’t afford to give away a big start again, but if Clint Johnston-Porter settles handy on this occasion, the pair should be able to let rip down the straight.
16. Oscar’s Fortune (13)
William Pike sticks aboard this impressive three-year-old despite having their unbeaten streak snapped in the Placid Ark two weeks ago.
The pair led into the turn and found clear air, simply conceding late to the fast-finishing Ripcord over their final few strides together.
Pike remaining in the saddle warrants big respect, and it’s fair to say the race pattern was slightly against him last time out. Based on what he accomplished previously, a bounce-back effort wouldn’t surprise.
- Corn Cob (16)
- Valency (4)