A lighter and more relaxed Winx is set to line up for her nineteenth straight win in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick today.
Winx came through a tough gallop on Tuesday morning at Rosehiill and trainer Chris Waller revealed that the champion mare will strip 3-4kg lighter following her first up win in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on a fortnight ago.
“Winx is 3-4kg lighter than she was before the Warwick Stakes,’’ Waller told The Daily Telegraph.
“We gave her a really solid gallop on Tuesday where she was very impressive.”
“We are really pleased with her, she has done everything right since the Warwick Stakes.”
Winx had a slightly less strenuous workout on Thursday and regular race jockey Hugh Bowman was happy with the way she felt as she stretched out down the straight.
“She has relaxed a little bit in her demeanour,’’ Bowman said.
“She was quite full of herself, jumping around before, but I feel a bit of that nervous energy has left her body.”
Winx gave all of her followers, including Waller and Bowman, an almighty scare when she bungled the start in the Warwick Stakes and came out of the barriers four lengths behind the second last horse before regathering her balance and eventually powering home to nail her stablemate Foxplay in the shadows of the post to make it eighteen wins in succession.
Waller has added the ear muffs to Winx’s race day gear for the Chelmsford Stakes in an attempt to rectify her barrier manners which Bowman said can make him nervous on occasions.
“The only time I’m nervous when I’m on her back is in the barriers because she does have the tendency to be a little bit anxious and although the timing was most inappropriate last start we are hoping that it won’t happen again,’’ Bowman said.
“It’s just a case of Winx being Winx and we’re aware of it and always have been. She knows it’s game time. She is obviously very intelligent so just wants to get on with the job. The best thing I can do is stay relaxed myself and not get too carried away with what we saw last start.’’
Winx is used to wearing ear muffs which she carries in her track work and in the pre-race parade ring on race days.
“Winx wears them (ear muffs) all the time, it dulls the sound,’’ Bowman said.
“Horses can be sensitive creatures and react to sound. The idea is to help her stay a little more relaxed.’’
The betting for the Chelmsford Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au is dominated by Winx at the very short quote of $1.10 with her nearest rival in the market order being the Kris Lees trained Doomben Cup winner Sense Of Occasion at $20.