Super star mare Winx was just put through the motions by jockey Hugh Bowman as he tuned up her powerful engine for the upcoming Spring Carnival which will include the defence of her Cox Plate title.
Winx was never out of first gear when she went to the line under a throttle hold from Bowman when fourth in an 850m barrier trial on the Kensington track at Randwick this morning.
“It seems that engine is still there,” Bowman said after Winx finished fourth behind Smart Volatility, Cosmic Cube and Southern Legend.
Bowman was very happy with the way she trialled and said that she felt a little bit stronger this preparation and he is looking forward to teaming up again with her in the Spring.
“I was happy with her – she wasn’t out to do a whole lot this morning and I was pleased with how she felt,” Bowman said.
“I was very impressed with the way she felt and I am looking forward to the preparation ahead.”
“She has certainly strengthened up physically, but as far as attitude goes she felt very similar.”
“It was her first public appearance this preparation and I was pleased with how she felt.”
Winx was having her first public outing since winning the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 2 and trainer Chris Waller has his sights on winning a second Cox Plate with the history making mare.
Waller has planned a Spring Carnival program that will see Winx end up in Melbourne to defend her title as the top weight for age horse in the country when she lines up for a second time in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.
Winx was the weight for age star of the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival when she scored a runaway four and three quarter lengths win in the Cox Plate beating 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Criterion and Aidan O’Brien’s high quality Irish performer Highland Reel.
Waller has selected the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 20 as Winx’s Spring Carnival opener and the mare will then have two more runs in Sydney before heading to Melbourne.
“Today’s trial was a great way to start a preparation and we’ve planned three races in Sydney – the Warwick Stakes, the Chelmsford and the George Main Stakes,” Waller said.
“Any of those options could change but that is our preferred option then she will head down to Melbourne to have one run, probably the Caulfield Stakes before the Cox Plate.”
After the Warwick Stakes Winx will have two more runs at Randwick in the Group 2 $250,000 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) on September 3 and in the Group 1 $500,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) on September 17 before heading to Melbourne.
The Group 1 $600,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 8 will be Winx’s final lead up run heading into the Cox Plate.
In an early Cox Plate market order with Ladbrokes.com.au, Winx is a dominant $2.80 favourite ahead of top Hong Kong performer Werther at $13 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Lucia Valentina at $15.