Kerrin McEvoy on The Autumn Sun. Picture: Getty Images
Kerrin McEvoy on The Autumn Sun. Picture: Getty Images

Big punters bank on Winx, The Autumn Sun

Chris Waller superstars Winx and The Autumn Sun have been sensationally backed to continue their winning streaks at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

Winx is set to start the shortest odds of her career in the $1 million Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) after TAB Fixed Odds took a bet of $150,000 at $1.06 on the champion mare.

This is the same punter who had a $150,000 wager at $1.10 on Winx on Monday.

Another punter invested $110,000 on The Autumn Sun at $1.65 to win the $600,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m). He is now into $1.60 to win his fifth Group 1 race in nine starts.

 

Winx will be the headline act at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images
Winx will be the headline act at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images

 

Rival trainers Peter Snowden and David Payne have virtually conceded they're racing for Group 1 second placings behind Winx and The Autumn Sun.

Snowden's Land Of Plenty is on the second line of betting, albeit at $17, behind the incomparable Winx in the George Ryder.

Payne, the only trainer to orchestrate a defeat of The Autumn Sun, stopped short of predicting another huge upset when his promising three-year-old Costello takes on the crack colt in the Rosehill Guineas.

Land Of Plenty is a genuine top-class galloper but Snowden said having to clash with the mighty Winx on a heavy track is not the ideal scenario.

 

Land Of Plenty will take on Winx in the George Ryder Stakes. Picture: AAP
Land Of Plenty will take on Winx in the George Ryder Stakes. Picture: AAP

 

"Winx is the best horse I have seen,'' said Snowden, who trains in partnership with his son Paul. "It is incredible she has been racing for all these years and nothing has gone wrong with her. She never seems to get a temperature, hoof abscess, anything.

"I asked Chris (Waller) about it the other day and he said she has never had an issue. Touch wood she doesn't get one now, either.

"Winx is great for racing and although I'd prefer not having to go up against her with Land Of Plenty, he needs the race.''

The Snowdens are preparing Land Of Plenty for the Group 1 $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 6 and would prefer to run in the George Ryder and then have two weeks to his next race rather than wait for the Doncaster Prelude next week and go to Randwick on a seven-day back-up.

Land Of Plenty has raced only once on a heavy track and that was in the Rosehill Guineas two years ago when he finished well back behind Gingernuts.

"But the track was very heavy that day and I don't think it will be that bad on Saturday,'' Snowden said. "Land Of Plenty does look amazing and at this stage we are keen to run him.''

Winx will be shooting for her fourth consecutive George Ryder Stakes on Saturday. If successful, it will be her 32nd win in a row and her 24th at Group 1 level.

The task of trying to stop The Autumn Sun's winning roll in the Rosehill Guineas is almost as forlorn. The Autumn Sun, a stablemate of Winx, has won seven of his eight starts and is chasing his fifth Group 1 win.

His only defeat came on a heavy track at Rosehill in the spring when he ran a luckless third to the Payne-trained Tarka in the Stan Fox Stakes.

Payne's Costello is an emerging staying talent aiming for his third consecutive win but is facing his moment of truth against The Autumn Sun.

"We have beaten The Autumn Sun before but I don't like our chances of doing it again," Payne said.

"Costello is a nice horse and we will know a lot more about him after Saturday. We are hoping to get him to the (ATC Australian) Derby so we are expecting him to run a good race.

"The Autumn Sun looks very hard to beat. If anything he is better suited getting out to 2000m. He is a very good colt but if we ran second to him, I'd be happy.''

 

Trainer David Payne admits Costello faces a tough task to topple The Autumn Sun in the Rosehill Guineas. Picture: AAP
Trainer David Payne admits Costello faces a tough task to topple The Autumn Sun in the Rosehill Guineas. Picture: AAP

 

The George Ryder Stakes and Rosehill Guineas are among five Group 1 races on a sensational Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens.

Snowden and Payne may not be confident of beating Winx and The Autumn Sun but both trainers have the opportunity to win at Group 1 level on Saturday.

The Snowden stable has three runners in the $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) with $5 favourite Cosmic Force and classy fillies Anaheed and Catch Me.

Redzel, the Snowden-trained dual Everest winner, is $4 favourite for $700,000 The Galaxy (1100m). Snowden is optimistic about the chances of his three Slipper runners, while confirming Redzel a definite starter in The Galaxy.

Payne's tough stayer Ace High might be over the odds at $18 for the $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) after his unlucky sixth in the Australian Cup last start.