The unbeatable combination of Hugh Bowman and Winx is eyeing off a third win in the Group 2 $250,000 The Star Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Bowman and Winx claimed the major prize in the Apollo Stakes in 2016 and 2017 and another win in the 1400m weight for age race would see the Chris Waller trained mare stretch her unbeaten record to thirty straight wins.
Winx went through her final paces in preparation for her return to the race track with a stretch of the legs at Rosehill this morning and Bowman said that the four times Cox Plate winner is looking in great shape.
“She’s looking great in my eye,” Bowman AAP.
“She looks excellent in the coat and has got a real glow in her eye, as does Chris, which is exciting.”
Winx will be stepping out in the Apollo Stakes for the first time since creating history with an unprecedented fourth consecutive win in the Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley during the 2018 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The Apollo Stakes is looming as the beginning of the end for Winx after Waller and connections voted to retire the mare at the end of her 2019 Sydney Autumn Carnival campaign which will climax with her chasing a third consecutive win in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Day Two of The Championships on April 13.
“I always look at it as a stepping stone towards the rest of her preparation,” Bowman said.
“I guess there is that little element of unknown because she hasn’t raced since the Cox Plate.
“But all signs that she’s shown us are that she’s ready to go.”
Bowman will again be aboard Winx who has drawn barrier three in the eight horse Apollo Stakes field and the world’s number one rated race horse completely dominates the betting at $1.09 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Winx’s nearest rival in the market order is the Pat Webster trained multiple Group 1 winner Happy Clapper at $9 with every other runner at long double figure odds.
Waller has been happy with Winx’s Apollo Stakes preparation with his final comments indicating the mare is in terrific order for her reappearance at Randwick on Saturday.
“She has come back in terrific order,” Waller said in his press release today.
“Everything has gone well with her this preparation and the normal two trials, followed by an exhibition gallop last Saturday at Randwick, sees her head into the race in great condition.”
“Her body language is great. She is moving well, she has drawn a nice barrier and everything is in order for a nice race to resume in.”
Waller will saddle up the majority of the eight horse Apollo Stakes field and as well as Winx he will be watching the runs of Patrick Erin (Sam Weatherley, barrier 4), Brimham Rocks (Jay Ford, 5), Tom Melbourne (Glyn Schofield, 6), Unforgotten (Kerrin McEvoy, 8) and Egg Tart (Brenton Avdulla, 7).