Winx Vs Arrogate a Tale of 2 Comebacks
by J A McGrath at Godolphin
Comebacks are high on the news agenda these days. Understandably, too, following the disappointment of Arrogate, the world’s highest-rated horse, trailing in a distant fourth, over 15 lengths from the winner, at Del Mar four weeks ago.
What had been intended as a simple re-introduction in the G2 San Diego Handicap, following a long rest on the sidelines, suddenly had warning lights flashing.
So, as a follow-up, this weekend we really have two international comeback runs to scrutinise.
First, there is Winx, the champion Australian mare, who resumes in Sydney in Saturday’s G2 Warwick Stakes, having not run since April. She will be attempting her 18th consecutive win.
And, then there is Arrogate’s comeback from the comeback.
As originally planned, trainer Bob Baffert is pressing ahead with plans to run Arrogate in Saturday’s G1 Pacific Classic, over 10 furlongs on dirt at Del Mar. Undeterred, he sends the world’s highest prizemoney earner on a mission to redeem his reputation.
No real excuses have been found for that dismal run last time, but you can rely on the trainer’s expertise to get the son of Unbridled’s Song to the starting gate in better shape, mentally and physically.
Accelerate and Donworth, who finished first and second respectively in the San Diego Handicap, both re-oppose in an eight-runner race that has suddenly generated tremendous interest on the world stage.
Meanwhile, Winx’s trainer Chris Waller was delighted with the mare’s recent effort in winning a barrier trial in Sydney, and has declared her to be better than ever as she commences a campaign that could lead to a record-equalling third consecutive Cox Plate victory at Moonee Valley in October.
This is yet another busy racing weekend globally, for the important sales and racing are also taking place at Deauville, while Saratoga continues at full pace on America’s East Coast.
A field of eight are set to contest Sunday’s G1 Prix Morny at Deauville, among them the unbeaten French-trained filly Different League and the progressive Nyaleti, a recent Ascot winner in impressive style.
Godolphin have an excellent winning chance in Saturday’s G2 Prix de la Nonette with the Charlie Appleby-trained Sobetsu, who is joined by the Andre Fabre-trained Strathspey, as the pair line up against talented Shutter Speed and Senga in a strong field.