Past Winners » Woodhay Wonder


This is obviously competitive, a big-field three-year-olds’ sprint handicap at Newmarket in April, and there are lots of unknowns, but Woodhay Wonder has plenty in her favour and I think that she should be shorter than she is.

Tom Ward’s filly raced five times last season as a juvenile, and she won three times. Significantly, she ran well in defeat on Newmarket’s July Course considering how keen she was early on, in the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at the July meeting, and she stepped forward from that next time when she went back to the July Course and won the valuable Tattersalls Sommerville Auction Stakes. The second and third have both won since, the former winning a listed race in Germany next time.

Then, even more significantly, on her final run of the season, she went to the Rowley Mile and won another valuable sales race. She did get to track early leader Zoulu Chief over on the far side, and she may have had the run of the race over there, but the manner in which she quickened clear was impressive. The magnitude and the ease of her victory suggests that she was the best horse in the race by some way at the weights, regardless of how the race had been run.

She is at her best in a big field in which there is a strong pace, and she should have that here. Connections were reportedly considering stepping her up in trip to seven furlongs for the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury on Saturday, so it is significant that they are running her here instead, in a six-furlong handicap. Obviously, they are happy with her handicap mark, and they are happy that she has the speed for six furlongs still as a three-year-old.