All-star Alizee to take giant steps towards Winx and The Autumn Sun


“There were various options available for his next run, however it was agreed that stepping to the untested trip of 2000m will open up further race options for him during the autumn.”

If Winx and The Autumn Sun were to both win as expected, they would be likely to meet in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on April 13.

Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman will head to Melbourne on Saturday to ride Alizee, perhaps the country’s third-best horse.

The champion rider rarely gets surprised but the All-Star Mile favourite did just that with her giant stride in an exhibition gallop last Saturday.

The Sepoy mare has three group 1s on her resume, including the Futurity last start after sitting wide. Bowman said he has felt her power and fight but the gallop at Flemington opened his eyes to maybe her biggest asset.

“It was interesting riding her work because you the to feel the stride on her,” Bowman said. “She is some athlete. She is big, but very athletic.

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“I was surprised by the length of her stride in the gallop because she was that little more settled. In the work you are focused on the horse and it caught me by surprise.

“In a race you [are] thinking about everything that is going on and don’t get to feel that.”

Bowman has only started to ride Alizee this preparation, winning the Christmas Classic on her in December before missing her Expressway Stakes win because of suspension.

He felt another dimension in the Futurity.

“What I loved the other day was the fight. The power I had felt in the first-up. I know that was inferior competition but it was there and was that of a good animal,” Bowman said.

“She had to do it all the hard in the Futurity and when I need her to lift – she did.

“I thought she overdid it before the race, so I would be like to see her a bit more relaxed before the race on Saturday.”

James Cummings has added earmuffs in the parade to Alizee to keep her calm on Saturday when she steps out onto Flemington.

“I think the big track will really suit her, she feels at home there,” Bowman said.

Bowman will look for his second Hong Kong Derby on Sunday as he rides Furore, the Classic Mile winner, for the biggest race of the year at Sha Tin.

“I think our chances are very much tied to the barrier draw, if he draws well he will be very hard to beat,” Bowman said. “I won it three years ago on Werther and it would be good to get another one.”

Bowman will back for Golden Slipper week in time for Winx’s main workout on Tuesday.

Racing writer for The Sydney Morning Herald

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