Trekking goes into the Winterbottom Stakes next month at Ascot bidding to win a Group One contest for the third time in his career. The six-year-old is the early favourite to come out on top in the race which is open to three-year-olds and above.
James Cummings’ runner was back to his best earlier this year when he scored in the Group One The Furphy Goodwood at Morphettville in May. He finished that 1,200-metre contest strongly, getting up late to prevail by just under a length.
Trekking has already featured twice so far this season where he has produced respectable performances. He had to settle for second place in the Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes at Moone Valley on his opening start of the campaign behind Pippie. On his latest outing, he finished fourth in the TAB Everest at Randwick.
This will be Trekking’s second attempt at the Winterbottom Stakes. He came home fourth of 14 runners in 2019. His chances last year were not helped when he was impeded leaving the stalls which meant he was forced to shuffle to the back of the field.
The son of Street Cry is at his best over 1,200 metres as that is where the majority of the wins in his career have come. He is 3/1 in the horse racing betting to add another success at that distance following the prestigious race at Ascot.
Nature Strip May Be Biggest Challenger to Trekking
Chris Walling’s gelding Nature Strip has an excellent record so far in his career with eight wins coming from his 19 starts. Many of those victories have come in Group company. His latest task will be to take on Trekking in the Winterbottom Stakes.
Last season was an excellent campaign for Nature Strip. He recorded three Group One wins. The first came in the Charter Kreck Cramer Moir Stakes where Trekking trailed him by just under two lengths. He then prevailed in the Darley Sprint Classic at Flemington, while the hat-trick was brought up in Randwick’s T J Smith Stakes.
Nature Strip has been a little disappointing so far this season in his three starts on the track. He was beaten on his opening appearance of the campaign when sent off as the odds-on favourite for the Group Three Concorde Stakes. Defeats have also followed over 1200 metres in two races at Randwick in October, with his latest coming in the TAB Everest where he finished seventh.
This will be Walling’s runner’s first appearance at Ascot. A change in racecourse might just help the talented sprinter, who is certainly capable of returning to his best form. He is 7/1 in the betting to score in Western Australia, which will ensure he is back in the conversation for some of the big sprint races later in the season.
This year’s Winterbottom Stakes takes place on 28th November, on what is one of the best cards of the year at Ascot. 69 horses still have entries in the feature contest but that number is set to come down considerably at the final declaration stage.