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3 year olds chasing 2009 Winterbottom Stakes

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Unbeaten Waratah’s Secret and Kid Choisir will be out to improve the record of three-year-olds in the Group Two 2009 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.

Since the filly Belinda’s Star won the race in 1975 only one three-year-old, Hardrada in 2002, has been successful in the $500,000 weight-for-age 1200m sprint.

Waratah’s Secret, prepared by David Harrison, made it four straight wins in the Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on October 31 and won a Lark Hill 950m barrier trial by seven lengths last Monday week.

The Oratorio gelding drew barrier nine in the 15-horse field and will be ridden by Paul Harvey who won the Winterbottom aboard French Sound in 1996.

Kid Choisir, prepared by Frank Maynard, drew gate one and has some solid form behind him having won five of his eight starts and finishing further back than second only once.

The Choisir colt won the Listed Placid Ark Stakes (1200m) at Ascot last Saturday with Damien Oliver in the saddle.

However the pair have to contend with some stiff opposition among the older brigade with the likes of Idyllic Prince, chasing his fifth straight win, and eastern states rivals Lucky Secret and Ortensia engaged.

Trainer Tony Noonan is dropping Ortensia back to the 1200m after saying the Testa Rossa mare didn’t get the 1600m when sixth to Sniper’s Bullet in the Group One Railway Stakes 2009 last Saturday.

Ortensia drew barrier six while the Tony Vasil-trained Lucky Secret drew eight.

Idyllic Prince, trained by Jim Taylor, won the Group Two Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at his last start, beating Railway Stakes runner-up Tarzi at Ascot on November 7.

Lucky Secret, who arrived in Perth on Friday, is $3.80 favourite ahead of Ortensia and Waratah’s Secret at $4.60, Idyllic Prince ($5.50) with Kid Choisir next best at $9.50.

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