Glamour mare Winx is facing the prospect of another rain affected track when she chases her seventeenth straight win in Saturday’s Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on day two of ‘The Championships’.
Winx has had to contend with two heavy tracks for three of her Sydney Autumn Carnivals wins but that didnh’t deter her as she ploughed through a heavy 9 rated track to claim the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on February 25 and then won with ridiculous ease with a seven and a quarter lengths victory over Le Romain in the Group 1 $1m China Horse Club George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 18.
Winx’s other Autumn Carnival win was first up on a good track in the Group 2 $250,000 The Star Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 13.
Trainer Chris Waller had some concerns about how Winx would go through the heavy tracks but is very surprised how well she has handled the wet conditions and how well she has recovered from each run.
“I’ve been surprised by how well she’s handled the wet tracks,” Waller told AAP.
“I always blamed the heavy track for her Oaks defeat so it was a worry.
“But she worked well this morning (Tuesday). Hugh Bowman rode her and was rapt. He said she was in the zone.
“I’m glad we did a bit of work with her on Saturday because she has gone from 95 per cent to 100 per cent.
“But I am hoping for a better track than last time.”
The Randwick track was rated a heavy 9 on Wednesday morning after receiving 68.4mm of rain in the last seven days with the Bureau Of Meteorology forecasting more showers for the Sydney area in the lead up to the weekend.
Winx has drawn barrier three in a final field of nine for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes with regular rider Hugh Bowman in the saddle again.
The super star mare has started at long odds on at her three Autumn Carnivals win at $1.14, $1.22 and $1.26 and looks unbeatable again at $1.09 for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Wednesday morning with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The closest to Winx in the betting at $11 is the John O’Shea trained Hartnell who has failed to make any impression on her in their six meetings to date and is coming off a last start second to Our Ivanhowe in the Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 18.
Hartnell did run second to Winx on three occasions, the first time when beaten three and a half lengths in the 2016 Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, beaten eight lengths when runner up in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley and got to within two and three quarter lengths of her when he chased her home in the Apollo Stakes at the beginning of the Sydney Autumn Carnival.