With Viddora’s racing career nearing the end, Lloyd Kennewell is keen to make the most of her latest bid for Group 1 glory in the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot today.
Kennewell confirmed the outstanding mare, a dual Group 1 winner and $2.64 million earner, would head to the breeding barn at the end of this season.
“This season will be her swansong,” Kennewell said.
“She’s a valuable broodmare now. We’ve got some things in pipeline, but we’ll get through this race first.”
Viddora returns to the scene of she and Kennewell’s first Group 1 victory, having conquered WA’s premier sprint 12 months ago.
The daughter of boom sire I Am Invincible added another win at the elite level to her record in the Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley in September.
She will attempt to join Hardrada (2002-2003), Belinda’s Star (1975-1976) and La Trice (1970-1971) as back-to-back winners of the Winterbottom.
“Not much has changed with her compared to 12 months ago,” Kennewell said.
“She’s in similar form and she’s in good order. She’s a year older, but she looks well.
“This race has always been on the agenda. It’s the old cliche of taking it one race at a time but it’s a $1 million race and she travels well. With no bad luck she’ll be hard to beat.”
Viddora has been backed from $3.40 to $2.65 favouritism with TABtouch after drawing barrier five on Tuesday. Joe Bowditch will again ride her. She leads a strong charge from the interstate raiders, who have dominated the Winterbottom with seven wins in the past 10 years.
Classy Victorian sprinter Voodoo Lad is another strong chance but trainer Darren Weir conceded he needs luck to figure in the finish. “He’s a get-back horse and he’ll probably have to come around the whole field,” Weir said. “ He just needs everything to go right.”
Damien Oliver will ride Voodoo Lad, who jumps from barrier 13 after WA mare Seannie was scratched yesterday. Voodoo Lad is a $10 chance.