Winx isn’t the only popular Sydney mare on a farewell tour this autumn. Ron Quinton’s fan favourite Dixie Blossoms will race in Saturday’s $3m Doncaster Mile (1600m) on day one of The Championships at Randwick, and it’s likely to be her final career run.
She enters her 31st race after winning the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) last start at Rosehill and Quinton knows she’ll be even better back on her home track.
“Her record says she’s a few lengths better at Randwick and we won’t have any excuses,” Quinton said. “Bad luck in running will be the only thing that will stop her running well.
“She’s in great form and it looked like the old Dixie the other day when she won the Coolmore and she’s done well since.
“I’d have to study the form a bit more but what I do know is that there will be plenty of winning chances in the Doncaster.”
Interestingly, the Doncaster will be one of the few races where Dixie Blossoms will take on the boys because she generally lines up in fillies and mares events. She’s a $17 chance with the TAB in a typically open Doncaster market.
Quinton said his six-year-old wouldn’t be bullied by the boys however and he was happy to see her draw barrier 14 with Christian Reith to take the ride once again.
It’s the question we haven’t been able to answer… until now! Is @Winx_Horse the greatest of all time? We are pitting her against 11 great Aussie thoroughbreds in #TheWonderRace https://t.co/bqkAOH5bBl pic.twitter.com/DzfUc3WlTu— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport)
“I think she’ll hold her own against them. It was a dominant win last start,” Quinton said.
“She worked very well on Tuesday morning and Sam (Clipperton) was thrilled with her. She should end up starting from barrier 12, which is probably not a bad draw.
“I wouldn’t care if the track went into the heavy range, either. Another couple of showers on Friday would be great.”
Daysee Doom, stablemate to Dixie Blossoms, will possibly have her final run on day two of The Championships next Saturday in the Group 1 Coolmore Legacy Stakes (1600m).
“These races will be their swan song unless I can convince the connections to keep them going,” Quinton said.
After the barrier draw on Tuesday, Alizee was still the favourite ($6) for the Doncaster after she drew gate 12.
The @Godolphin stable are on fire and Darren Beadman was on hand at the barrier draw this morning to talk to @LizzieJelfs about their chances. Alizee is the $6 @tabcomau favourite for the Doncaster Mile after drawing barrier 12. pic.twitter.com/EqGg9aX9ue— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU)
The Team Hayes-trained Fundamentalist was the notable firmer in betting after the barrier draw for the Doncaster Mile, trimming from $13 into $11.
“Fundamentalist is the most popular runner today in our book,” TAB’s Andrew Georgiou said.
“After her, we have seen some money for Hartnell but that shouldn’t be a surprise considering he is always one of the more popular runners whenever he goes around.”
Meanwhile, champion jockey Kerrin McEvoy will be trying to win his first ATC Derby when he rides Global Exchange in the three-year-old classic on Saturday.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained colt is on a three-race winning streak, including triumphs in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield and the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Mooney Valley last start.
“I was very pleased with him when I rode him in work,” McEvoy said. “He’s travelled up to Sydney in nice order and definitely brings the right formlines up.”
Global Exchange drew barrier eight on Tuesday and is on the third line of betting at $8 with Chapada the $5 favourite.
“He’s a big, strong individual and he’s got a nice attitude,” McEvoy said. “He went around in a star-studded heat with Happy Clapper in it and Ciaron wanted me to give him a good hit-out.
“Ciaron’s always had some lofty ambitions with him and he’s got him into the ATC Derby with three wins from his past four starts and his two wins, in good, quality races in Melbourne, were done in nice style.
“I feel he’ll run out a strong 2400m. He’s definitely bred to run it being by Dundeel, who has won a Derby.”
One TAB punter has jumped on Pierata in the TJ Smith Stakes, plonking $60,000 on the Greg Hickman-trained sprinter in two bets. The punter stands to collect $390,000 if Pierata wins the Group 1 sprint on Saturday.
“Day one of The Championships is expected to take place on a rain-affected surface, but Pierata has recorded two wins and two minor placings from five career starts on soft or heavy going,” TAB’s Trent Langskaill said.
“Along with the second to Nature Strip in The Galaxy on a heavy track, Pierata was victorious over 1200 metres in the Sydney Stakes on TAB Everest Day last year (October 13) on a heavy-rated surface.”
Pierata is now $5.50 to win the T.J. Smith Stakes. Last year’s winner Trapeze Artist and Godolphin’s Osborne Bulls share favouritism at $4, while dual Everest winner Redzel is an $8 chance.
$3m DONCASTER MILE
Race 9, Saturday, 5.15pm
1. HARTNELL H Bowman (7) 58kg
2. LE ROMAIN J McDonald (16) 57kg
3. ALIZEE B Shinn (12) 56.5kg
4. LAND OF PLENTY M Rodd (9) 55kg
5. DREAMFORCE D Lane (13) 53.5kg
6. DIXIE BLOSSOMS C Reith (14) 53kg
7. SHILLELAGH C Williams (3) 53kg
8. KLUGER T Berry (4) 53kg
9. WIDGEE TURF B Egan (17) 52kg
10. UNFORGOTTEN K McEvoy (18) 51.5kg
11. LIFE LESS ORDINARY C Brown (10) 51.5kg
12. ECKSTEIN S Clipperton (15) 51kg
13. ALOISIA J Ford (6) 50.5kg
14. SIEGE OF QUEBEC R Dolan (a) (22) 50.5kg
15. FIFTY STARS J McNeil (24) 50kg
16. I AM SERIOUS K Teetan (1) 50kg
17. SO SI BON L King (a) (5) 50kg
18. FUNDAMENTALIST B Thompson (2) 49kg
19. EL DORADO DREAMING A Gibbons (20) 49kg
20. BRUTAL G Boss (21) 49kg
21e. VIOLATE — (19) 50kg
22e. FIERCE IMPACT — (23) 50kg
23e. RINGERDINGDING — (8) 49kg
24e. SEAWAY (NZ) — (11) 50kg
LATEST BETTING: TAB FIXED ODDS
$2m ATC AUSTRALIAN DERBY
Race 7, Saturday, 3.55pm
1. EXTRA BRUT S Clipperton (18) 56.5kg
2. MADISON COUNTY T Berry (11) 56.5kg
3. IN A TWINKLING O Bosson (15) 56.5kg
4. ARROGANT C Williams (12) 56.5kg
5. CHAPADA D Oliver (13) 56.5kg
6. SURELY SACRED D Lane (6) 56.5kg
7. PLATINUM INVADOR J Riddell (14) 56.5kg
8. GLOBAL EXCHANGE K McEvoy (8) 56.5kg
9. STARS OF CARRUM H Bowman (10) 56.5kg
10. ARAMAYO T Clark (19) 56.5kg
11. ANGEL OF TRUTH C Brown (4) 56.5kg
12. THE CHOSEN ONE B Shinn (17) 56.5kg
13. COSSETOT G Schofield (3) 56.5kg
14. DECLARATIONOFHEART M Zahra (1) 56.5kg
15. COSTELLO J Collett (9) 56.5kg
16. TWINSPIER L Nolen (7) 56.5kg
17. SHAMAN T Wolfgram (2) 56.5kg
18. FRANKELY AWESOME J McDonald (16) 54.5kg
19e. YULONG TAVION B Avdulla (5) 56.5kg
Fifty Stars, Brutal $7
Fundamentalist $13 (now $11)
Land Of Plenty $15
Dixie Blossoms, Kluger $17
Others from $21
T.J SMITH STAKES
Osborne Bulls, Trapeze Artist $4
Pierata, Santa Ana Lane $7
Vega Magic $17
Others from $51
Arrogant $7 (now $8)
Global Exchange, Stars Of Carrum $8
Declarationofheart $9 (now $11)
Madison County $13 (now $11)
Frankely Awesome $13 (now $9)
Extra Brut $15
Others from $17
TAB analysis: “Frankely Awesome ($13-$9) has been a notable firmer for the Derby.”
Bellevue Hill, Castelvecchio, Loving Gaby, Microphone $7
Kiamichi, Tenley $9
Others from $15
TAB analysis: “Loving Gaby and Microphone ($7 respectively) are easily the two most popular horses since the Sires’ draw, while Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi is a $9 chance after drawing gate one.”