Rosehill around the track with Clinton Payne on Saturday

Clinton Payne - Sunday September 10

The latest on Winx, protest battles, the polish of an in-form jockey, a horse the jockey describes as a "weirdo” and The Everest were subjects up for discussion at Rosehill on Saturday.

There's a bit of Suncraze in this bloke.

TIME TO END THE ‘HOW WINX IS GOING’ DEBATE

There’s been plenty of questions asked in the past week in regard to how racing’s darling Winx is going this preparation so we went to the man that is best credentialed to give an opinion.

A lot of pundits have been questioning if the champion mare is going as well this preparation compared with past campaigns but if anyone knows, it’s her trainer Chris Waller.

"Personally, I think she’s going as well as ever if not better,” he said.

"First-up she basically beat them by five lengths after she missed the start by five lengths and then the other day she did it without the whip.

"Some people are worried she’s had two tough runs but I'm not. The sectional times would suggest they’ve gone slow early and sprinted home each time.

"She’s going great, she’s absolutely flying.”

Winx is set to return to Randwick next Saturday for the George Main Stakes (1600m) before the trainer decides her next run, likely to be on October 14 in either the Caulfield Stakes or the Craven Plate at Randwick.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

Confidence is a gigantic ingredient for a jockey’s success and that was on show in the way Josh Parr handles some of his rides at Rosehill on Saturday.

Parr had a day to remember winning all three Group II races but it was his record-breaking ride aboard Deploy in the Group II Stan Fox Stakes (1300m) that was straight out of the top draw, a bit like his judgement aboard Red Excitement last week.

Parr allowed his mount to continue to stride boldly throughout the race, refusing to break the horse’s strong rhythm while carving out slick 200m sectionals from the 1200 to the 400m mark - 11.03, 11.06, 11.11, 11.14 seconds.

"On a fast track, it’s actually less work on a rock hard fit horse like him than the clock says,” Parr said.

"If you can get a horse to find a comfortable rhythm like that and they’re skipping across the fast ground, they’re not doing any work so even when they are going that fast they’ll find something for you.”

That was evident with Deploy. When Parr asked the Fastnet Rock gelding to go from the top of the turn, he ripped off a 10.83 second sectional from the 400 to the 200m and it was game, set, match.

‘HE’S A WEIRDO’ BUT HE’S GOOD

Corey Brown’s ridden plenty of high class horses and it won’t surprise him if one day Suncraze joins that group but the champion rider says he hasn’t "ridden many with split personalities like him”.

Suncraze made it back-to-back Highway Handicap wins at Rosehill on Saturday and will now trial again before a tilt at the $200,000 Highway Anniversary (1400m) at Randwick on October 14.

The win was impressive, albeit narrow but Brown says "it’s scary” how much the four-year-old could still improve.

"He’s a weirdo,” Brown said. "It’s like riding four different horses in a race – I can’t recall riding one like him.

"At about the 600 it was like he saw a dead person on the track. He skipped sideways, put himself into the fence then shit himself.

"If he ever puts it all together you’ll see a horse.”

A FALL FROM GRACE

Chris Waller’s import Alward was the equal favourite for The Metropolitan but his hopes appear dashed after being beaten at Rosehill on Saturday.

Alward’s trainer Chris Waller described the horse’s performance as "plain” after he battled into fourth in the Rydges Parramatta Handicap (1800m).

He eased on course from $2.15 to start at $3 while he was an $8 chance in The Metropolitan.

"I thought he was very one-paced,” Waller said. "I’d say he want more ground but that’s an easy excuse to use today because I haven’t been hard on him in his training so he shouldn’t be flat.

"I’d say the Metrop is extremely unlikely now.”

WINNER, WINNER, WINNER

Anthony Anderson, a part owner of Wayanka had three reasons to smile after stewards upheld a protest lodged by the gelding’s jockey against Godolphin galloper Interlocuter in the final race of the day at Rosehill on Saturday.

Anderson, a self-described "terrible punter” revealed after the hearing that he’d backed both Wayanka and Interlocuter with his bookmaker Sportsbet.

Sportsbet offer a ‘Protest payout’ meaning if a horse is beaten in a protest they pay out on the ticket as a winner leaving Anderson to collect his winning bets on Interlocuter and Wayanka as well as his cut of the $53,375 rather than the $18,800 second place prizemoney.

"I’m a terrible punter but I guess this is good punting,” Anderson said.

Anthony, I have one question. Why didn’t you take the quinella? It paid $22.50.

CLEAN RECORD SAVES CLARK

Jockey Tim Clark was saved by his "outstanding record” when suspended for careless riding on Saturday.

Clark copped a three-meeting ban after pleading guilty to the charge in the Stan Fox Stakes but almost 1300 rides since his last suspension saved him from missing a Saturday meeting.

Clark’s ban starts on Sunday week and he returns to riding the following Friday while Rachel King will be out of action from September 17 until September 24 after incurring a four meeting suspension in the Sheraco Stakes.

ANGLAND GETS FIRST CRACK AT EVEREST RUNNER

Tye Angland has been given the chance to land a ride in the $10m The Everest, partnering the Matt Dale-trained Fell Swoop when the gelding resumes at Randwick next Saturday.

Fell Swoop, the Inglis representative, starts his campaign in the Group II The Shorts (1100m) where he will carry 57kg under the set weights and penalties conditions of the $200,000 sprint.

Angland rode Fell Swoop in a recent trial and his booking is only for the six-year-old’s first-up run but if things go according to plan, all indications are that he will remain aboard the son of Not A Single Doubt in the weight-for-age feature at Randwick on October 14.

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