Trainer Chris Waller has confirmed Saturday’s 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) remains the likely next point of call for champion mare Winx following her dominant win in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile over the weekend.
Winx undoubtedly faced her biggest test of the 2016 Autumn Carnival so far in the Doncaster Mile, but overcame being blocked and a somewhat awkward running position to secure her ninth-consecutive win and sixth Group 1 title.
Winx’s official Facebook page this morning confirmed she will take her position in the field for Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but Waller told Racing Ahead he is yet to have a serious look at the mare and will allow her condition over the coming days to dictate a start.
“She seems OK, but don’t listen too much into that just yet,” Waller said.
“She’s one of a number of horses we train obviously and I’ve got to get to all of them properly today and have a good look at them.
“The next few days will tell us more. She went to the beach yesterday and got some salt water on her legs – a day out so to speak.
“Today she just did some work on the treadmill, so pretty light stuff. We’ll get a rider on her back probably tomorrow morning and have a better guide after that.
“We’ll try and make a decision with her as early as we can. We don’t want to hold everyone waiting, it’s not the right thing to do and as soon as we can make a decision, we certainly will.”
Waller rates Winx as the best horse he has trained through his illustrious career and revealed a defence of her title in the 2016 Cox Plate (2040m) in late October currently figures as her major long-range target.
“It hit home on Saturday when I said I feel she’s a champion now. I certainly haven’t trained one of those and I am in awe of all the champions I’ve seen race and it’s a huge privilege to train one and know what the trainers of those previous champions have been through,” Waller said.
“It’s a new level of pressure and responsibility and it’s quite amazing really. It’s something we must remember to enjoy because it wasn’t the most enjoyable of my days on Saturday and it should have been.
“You’ve got to take a step back and enjoy the day rather than getting worked up prior to the race and things like that.
“We’re looking one preparation in advance at a time currently. She needs to win a Queen Elizabeth before you can go looking overseas, but I think overseas is a bit of a treat at the end of a horse’s preparation.
“The Cox Plate is I would say the most important race at the moment on the radar, but obviously we have to get through Saturday first.”
Winx has posted an impressive thirteen wins and three minors through her nineteen career starts since first appearing on course in 2014.
Ladbrokes Australia currently rates Winx a clear $1.45 favourite in 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting markets.