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3rd Cox Plate for Winx then Europe

Trainer Chris Waller will concentrate on winning a third Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival with Winx before planning a European campaign in 2018.

Winx, above, was named the third highest ranked race horse in the world. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Winx, above, was named the third highest ranked race horse in the world. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Waller was in London overnight to hear Winx be named the third highest ranked race horse in the world at Longines World’s Best Racehorse Awards night with a rating of 132 behind 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arrogate, rated 134, and fellow American galloper California Chrome on 133.

Winx was also named the best filly and mare and the highest rated turf horse in the world.

The two times Cox Plate winner is in the final preparations for a return to the racetrack for the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival which will be followed by a Spring Carnival campaign before Waller considers an overseas trip that would include a look at Royal Ascot in June.

“Winx won’t come over this year, everything is revolving around trying to win a third Cox Plate. She’ll have a few runs but that’s the main goal,” Waller told UK publication Racing Post.

“Once that’s out of the way, Royal Ascot’s definitely on our radar and we could even give her a European campaign to make bringing her over worthwhile.”

Waller is looking to a four run campaign in the Autumn and a similar work load in the Spring but has virtually ruled out a trip to Hong Kong for their big International Day in December and Dubai for the World Cup Carnival in the early months of 2018.

“(This autumn) is a short racing prep with just the four starts, but that will give us longevity, because we understand the expectation to take her and show her to the world,” he said to ANZ Bloodstock News in England.

“Not just for one race, but probably a preparation which could involve four or five races.

“We have huge respect for Hong Kong and Dubai, but one thing that makes Europe such a strong possibility is the close proximity of so many race tracks, what with Ireland, England and France.”

Waller said that if he did present Winx on the world racing stage he would keep the Street Cry mare to distances around the 1600m mark.

“There are obviously some top races over further, but there would be plenty of options over a mile for her here,” Waller said.

“There’s a good program of races in Europe at a mile all through the summer and it would be exciting to run in a few.”

Winx made her first public appearance since winning her second Cox Plate in October last year with a third placing in a 900m Rosehill barrier trial on January 17.

Waller has pencilled in a second trial before Winx steps out for the first time in the 2017 Autumn Carnival in the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 11.

The glamour mare will then run second up in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on February 25 followed by the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 18.

Winx won all three of those races during the 2016 Autumn Carnival before going on to win the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ but Waller will miss the famous Randwick Mile this year and run her in the weight for age Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8.

Winx is currently the $1.90 favourite for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au and also sits at the top of the market order for the 2017 Cox Plate at $2.80.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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