Eastern states have strong hand in Winterbottom Stakes

Current favourite, Malaguerra. Photo: Getty

Horses from the Eastern States of Australia have won five of the past eight editions of the Winterbottom Stakes and that domination looks set to continue in 2016.

The great Takeover Target started the run of Eastern State raiders when he beat Apache Cat to win the 2008 edition of the Winterbottom Stakes and he was followed by star mare Ortensia, who took out the race in both 2009 and 2011.

Eastern State horses ran the quinella when Buffering narrowly beat Moment Of Change to win the Winterbottom Stakes in 2013 and Buffering returned two years late to romp home for his second win in the Group 1 event.

Buffering will not be in action at Ascot on Saturday, but there are still a number of horses that have made the trip to Perth for the race.

Malaguerra stamped himself as one of the best sprinters in Australia when he won the Darley Classic at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival and he is currently on top of the 2016 Winterbottom Stakes betting market.

The son of Magnus has been raced sparingly during the 2016 Spring Racing Carnival – the Darley Classic was just his second start this campaign – and he is still on the way up heading into the Winterbottom Stakes.

There is no doubt that Terravista is the most interesting horse in the Winterbottom Stakes field and he is on the second line of betting.

Terravista was given a lengthy spell following his flat sixth place finish in the T.J. Smith Stakes in April and he returned to the races with a very close second behind Redzel in the Mumm Stakes at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day.

Terravista is the class horse in the Winterbottom Stakes field and if he is able to return to his best form he will prove very tough to beat.

Another Eastern State raider in the 2016 Winterbottom Stakes field is Takedown, who could head to the Hong Kong International Sprint if he is able to record a maiden Group 1 win on Saturday.

Takedown started his 2016 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with impressive wins in both The Shorts and the Premiere Stakes, but he was beaten in both the Moonga Stakes and the L’Oreal Paris Stakes.

He did have excuses in his last start defeat and the drop back in distance to 1200 metres should suit.

The Lindsay Park team led by David Hayes round out the Eastern State challenge in the Winterbottom Stakes and they will be represented by both Sheidel and Keen Array.

Sheidel was previously based in Perth and has an outstanding record in Western Australia, while Keen Array will need to improve from his five lengths defeat in the Darley Classic.

The x-factor in the Winterbottom Stakes field is State Solicitor and the market suggests that he is the best local chance in the race.

This is a huge step-up in class for State Solicitor, but he is clearly a talented sprinter and he has recorded six wins from his seven race starts.