Group 1 winning mare Aloisia will take on the might of champion mare Winx when both kick off their 2019 Sydney Autumn Carnival in the Group 2 $250,000 The Star Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Aloisia is having her first run from a spell following a winless 2018 Spring Carnival campaign while Winx is chasing her thirtieth win in succession at her first run back since winning an historic fourth Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley.
Co-trainer David Eustace expects Aloisia, the winner of the 2017 Group 1 Thousand Guineas, to run well first up but he can’t see her knocking off the world’s number one rated race horse in Winx.
“And I don’t think I’d really want to be there if we were to beat Winx because I don’t think we’d be very popular,” Eustace told AAP.
“But that is highly unlikely.”
Eustace, who trains in partnership with Ciaron Maher, said that Aloisia has had a solid preparation for her return to the race track and that the Apollo Stakes fits into her program leading up to the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 16.
“She had 10 days in the paddock and then prepped up down at the beach at Balnarring,” Eustace said.
“She’s had an official trial in Sydney, trialled nicely and we think she’s in good nick.”
Tim Clark takes the mount on Aloisia who has drawn barrier two in the eight horse Apollo Stakes field while Winx, with Hugh Bowman in the saddle, will jump from gate three.
Winx completely dominates the betting for the Apollo Stakes and Ladbrokes.com.au have the mighty mare marked at the very short odds of $1.09 while Aloisia is rated a $31 chance.