There’s no better illustration of why Winx comfortably holds the top spot in Australian racing than running sectionals usually seen on good tracks on a soft to heavy surface as she did on Saturday.
Punters Intel data revealed the champ’s final 600m and final 200m were the fastest of the day and that wouldn’t be so unusual except hers were run in a 1500m event on a day including a Group 1 sprint (The Galaxy) and a Golden Slipper.
Winx’s last 600m of 33.32 was clearly the best of the day and by around 0.3 seconds while her last 200m of 11.29 was also well clear of the rest. Add to that she covered an extra 11.4m in the run.
But Winx had a bit of a battle this time and placegetters Happy Clapper and Kementari did plenty of enhancing their chances in the The Star Doncaster Mile on Day 1 of The Championships.
Kementari had a bit of a stop-start time early in the straight and he managed a 33.71 last 600m while Happy Clapper clocked 33.83. The colt has a 2.5kg weight advantage going into the Doncaster.
Aside from Winx only one other horse managed a better last 600m on the day and that was English (33.64) in the 1100m Galaxy.
Stepping away slowly isn’t helping English’s cause but she showed she’s on track for another crack at the TJ Smith Stakes with that eye-catching finish which included an 11.57 last 200m.
The winner In Her Time was very soft on the line and was cuddled for a long way by Zac Purton so her last 600m of 33.96 and last 200m of 11.86 were certainly solid.
The Golden Slipper certainly wasn’t run at the hectic tempo that the race has a reputation for – the opening race was run more than 0.5 seconds quicker and there was a subsequent track upgrade.
Estijaab went a long way to winning the race by running 13.58 for the first 200m and that allowed Brenton Avdulla to find the front so easily.
He was also allowed to run 12.10 from the 800m-600m and that was probably the crucial sectional.
Of course those from the back looked great and the likes of Oohood, Long Leaf and Seabrook (34.72 L600) finished off like horses looking for the Sires’ on Saturday week.
Oohood possibly wins the Slipper if Estijaab was pressured in the run, her last 600m of 34.50 was second only to Long Leaf (34.47) but her last 200m was the fastest as she charged in 11.73.
Nettoyer may have missed her big chance at a Group win this carnival, she covered the most ground in the race (+13.5m) and ran the fastest last 600m in 34.99 but it was too big an ask to do that from the back of the field.
Watch Punters Intel on Sky Thoroughbred Central with Gerard Middleton, Brad Davidson and Brad Gray at 7pm on Tuesdays.
Fastest last 600m: Winx 33.32
Most ground covered: D’Argento +18.8m (2000m).