Find a bum.
It is the recipe for Russian Camelot’s success in Saturday’s Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington, according to retired jockey James Winks.
Winks, 36, who has ridden more winners for Russian Camelot’s trainer Danny O’Brien than any other jockey, expects the boom horse to look the loser for longer than he does the winner on Saturday.
Under different circumstances, and not for a recent health scare which led to his retirement, the five-time Group 1 jockey would be out to bring Russian Camelot undone with Master Of Wine for Team Hawkes.
“I’d probably lean towards Russian Camelot marginally, it’s a tricky one,” Winks said, if given the chance to pick one to ride.
“I dare say he goes back, he can be aggressive, so Damien Oliver wouldn’t take the risk of starting him up and having him pull and wreck the whole campaign with a gut-buster first up.
“The only way he’s going to win the Makybe Diva is if he’s quiet early, finds a bum and is strong late, if he’s going to win the race he’s going to win the race late.”
Russian Camelot will be winding up late in the Makybe Diva Stakes. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
Winks, who spent the latter part of a 20-year career, which netted 838 wins from 7988 starts, as Hawkes’ No.2 rider in Melbourne behind Dwayne Dunn, has ridden Master Of Wine previously.
“I dare say he’ll be neutral as well given he was ridden upside down last start,” Winks said.
“They’ll be somewhere in the run together, Ollie might be looking to follow Master Of Wine.
“They won’t be presenting at the top of the straight and winning it there … that’s how I’d be riding him (Russian Camelot) … you’ve got bigger fish to fry.”
Russian Camelot goes into the race fresh, while Master Of Wine has a fitness edge after racing in Sydney last month.
Dual Group 1 winner Fierce Impact looms as a major threat, with seasoned horses Kings Will Dream, Harlem and Vow And Declare sure to keep the emerging stars honest.
Fierce Impact is among the main contenders in the Makybe Diva Stakes. Picture: Jay TownSource:News Corp Australia
“The reality is you got nowhere to hide now,” Winks said. “Gone are the three-year-old days, you’re stepping up with the big boys and they either do it or they don’t.
“You expect Russian Camelot to step up, but it’s definitely a question mark and Danny will have that in the back of his head too.
“I wouldn’t be really worried if he does get beat.
“You don’t want to see him 10 lengths off them either, you need an encouraging run … it’s not going to get any easier (going forward). You’re talking Cox Plates and Cups.”
Originally published asJockey’s view: Rising star has nowhere to hide
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