Premiership winning trainer Chris Waller has given his stable star Winx a ten of ten rating for her effortless first up win in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick last Saturday.
Winx extended her winning sequence to ten with her three and a half lengths win over the John O’Shea trained Hartnell who was doing his best work at the finish.
Waller was excited to see Winx back in the winner’s stall with Hugh Bowman on top again and gave her a perfect ten out of ten for her first class performance.
“It was an all round ten out ten performance. It was great,” Waller told Racing Ahead.
“You never really know where they are at until they are back racing. It was just great to see her amble up at the 300m mark and put a little bit of a gap in them at the finish.”
“She was very happy with the way she stretched out and the way she settled in the race.”
Waller said even though the opposition in the Warwick Stakes was not a genuine field of 1400m sprinters, it was very pleasing to see her slot straight back into her stride in the early and middle stages of the race before extending in the straight.
“It was great to see her travelling at the 400m mark and quicken nicely and then once they do quicken you look to see what’s coming from behind,” Waller said.
“Although it might not have been a star studded line up in terms of 1400m horses, you still have to have respect for those stayers resuming. A lot of them are Group 1 winners.”
Waller doesn’t really rate Winx a 1400m horse either and considered her also running out of her comfort zone but the five year old mare was still able to run a slick 32.89 seconds for the final 600m of the Warwick Stakes.
“She is not a sprinter herself, but she is pretty effective. She is a mile, 2000m horse, so she too was out of her comfort zone at some extent.”
“And to run time just backed up that the run was good.”
Waller said that Winx has pulled up very well and he will now direct her towards the Group 2 $250,000 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 3 in the countdown to defending her crown as the top weight for age horse in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.
“I am keen to stick to the plan I originally set for her. Because there are four races before the Cox Plate, I am not that keen on taking on all the others in every start and the program that I have set for her would shelter her a little, which we are entitled to do and that would see her run in the Chelmsford which is another Group 2 and obviously there would be other Group 1 horses in that race,” Waller said.
“And obviously the George Main which is a Group 1 after that, then the Caulfield Stakes and then onto the Cox Plate”
“Of the five races, she is going to be running in three Group 1s and two Group 2s, and the softer we are on her in terms of placing her right, the further she gets in terms of maybe a run in the Mackinnon at the end of the Carnival.”
After the Chelmsford Stakes Winx will line up in Group 1 company in the $500,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 17 before heading to Melbourne for her final Cox Plate lead up in the Group 1 $600,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 8.
In early Cox Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au Winx has firmed in slightly to $2.50, maintaining her spot at the top of the market order, well ahead of her nearest rival, the Aidan O’Brien trained Highland Reel, at $15.
Group 1 winners Lucia Valentina, The Untited States and Yankee Rose all share the third line of betting at $17.