Waller reassesses G1 Winx Stakes chances after draw

Chris Waller started the week regarding Fangirl as his top Winx Stakes seed and while he still believes she will be hard to beat, he says the barrier draw has brought stablemate Hinged right into the race.

A perennial bridesmaid last season to the now-retired Anamoe, Fangirl came up with gate 11 on Wednesday while Hinged drew ideally in barrier five.

Waller says that low draw could be the difference in a tough race.

“Fangirl, she’s come back well and she’s drawn OK,” Waller said.

“Hinged, she’s not far off Fangirl and now she’s drawn well, I reckon she will be a big mover in the market.

“I can’t fault her or Fangirl, they do all their work together and they’re going as well as each other.”

Hinged was rated a $17 chance shortly after the final field and draw were released with Fangirl on the second line of betting with unibet at $4.60, behind Annabel Neasham-trained $4 favourite Zaaki, who came up with barrier eight.

Fangirl was runner-up to Anamoe in the corresponding race last year and again had to play supporting roles to the Godolphin star another four times last season.

She is chasing her first win in 17 months in Saturday’s Winx Stakes (1400m), while Hinged will also need to break an extended run of outs, her last success coming in the 2022 Surround Stakes.

The pair will be among up to eight Winx Stakes runners for Waller, who is shooting for his 150th Group 1 win in the feature.

While Going Global is a doubtful starter after sweating-up during an exhibition gallop at Canterbury on Wednesday – a sign Waller says can often indicate a horse is still a couple of weeks off being ready to race – Francesco Guardi, Princess Grace, Montefilia, Lindermann and Osipenko will join Fangirl and Hinged in the race.

Osipenko and Lindermann have drawn barriers 17 and 18 respectively but Waller says both will run.

“They will, but you ride them accordingly,” Waller said.

“Not that Lindermann will be going back, he’s a natural frontrunner anyway so he’ll go forward and try to find a spot.

“Osipenko will probably have to go back, similar to the Caulfield Guineas.”

The Winx Stakes is the first Group 1 race of the season and Saturday’s renewal has attracted a capacity field of 16 plus three emergencies.

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