Leading hoop Hugh Bowman is confident that Winx is in the right form to successfully defend her crown when she lines up for Saturday’s 2016 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
Winx has been the standout of Australian racing for more than a year and will be seeking her thirteenth-consecutive race win in the Cox Plate 2016; a record that extends back to her impressive triumph in the 2015 edition of the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m).
Bowman told the media at this morning’s Cox Plate barrier draw that he believes Winx has only taken benefit from her last start win in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) and she is primed for a successful run on Saturday.
“It’s been there for everyone to see what she’s been able to do since really stamping herself as a very high level equine athlete this time last year,” Bowman said.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with her. Chris has managed her well, she had a relatively light autumn with only four runs and comes into the Cox Plate with three runs under her belt this year.
“She’s thrived since her last run but for myself, I haven’t put a lot of thought into the Cox Plate until now we’re here and ready to go.”
Bowman believes that the lack of a natural leader in the Cox Plate field means that tactics will play a key role in transit on Saturday and luck will be necessary.
“It’s a different race. Last year we had the assistance of The Cleaner in the race which guaranteed good speed and when you get good speed, everyone gets a position,” he said.
‘You still need a little bit of luck in any horse race but with no natural leader in the race and possible slow pace, tactics definitely come into it.
“I’ll just worry about the horse and I have a great deal of confidence in her, but that doesn’t mean that I go into the race or any other race without a level of respect for my opponents.”
Winx has posted a career total of sixteen wins and three minors through her twenty-two competitive appearance to date.
Winning the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) leading into last year’s Cox Plate triumph, the Street Cry mare resumed this year for success in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) before posting wins in each of the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Returning this time for a comfortable win over the likes of Hartnell in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 20th, Winx was barely tested on her way to success in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) in what was her only other start prior to the Ladbrokes Stakes.
Winx is currently available at 2016 Cox Plate odds of $2.25 with online bookie Ladbrokes Australia.