Australia’s Queen Of The Turf Winx has had a trouble free preparation for her return to the race track in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Premiership winning trainer Chris Waller can’t fault Winx’s condition as she tries to take her winning sequence to ten when she lines up against her six opponents at weight for age on the weekend at her first run back since winning the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) with Bowman in the saddle at Randwick on April 2..
“Could not have been happier with her preparation. Everything we have asked her to do she has done,” Waller said.
“She’s had two nice trials, hasn’t been interrupted by weather. Trialled on pretty testing tracks on the Kensington track both times. Hughie has looked after her and she had come through with flying colours.”
“She had a good gallop on Tuesday morning. Hugh was more than happy.”
“She is exactly where you want her to be. Gate four, what more could you ask. It is just a nice starting point for her.”
Champion jockey Hugh Bowman has been aboard Winx in seven of her last nine starts, all winning rides, and will be aboard again in the Warwick Stakes.
Among Winx’s nine straight wins was the 2015 Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley and Australia’s new favourite race horse will be targeting the ‘Weight For Age Championship Of Australasia’ again this Spring.
Waller will provide more than half of the seven runners in the Warwick Stakes and will also saddle up 2015 Group 1 Champion Stakes winner Vanburgh (Glyn Schofield, barrier 6) and tough stayers Who Shot Thebarman (Brenton Avdulla, 7) and Grand Marshall (Jason Collett, 5).
Waller also has plenty of respect for the Gary Portelli trained Rebel Dane who has the advantage of having one run back from a spell for a second to Tycoon Tara in the Group 2 $175,000 Mark Moran Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 6.
Tommy Berry is again aboard Rebel Dane who has drawn nicely at barrier two.
“Of course you have to have respect for Rebel Dane, he is a group 1 winner and Lucia Valentina, she is a super star in her own right,” Waller said.
“Certainly three class horses there mixed up with a few of ours in there and obviously Hartnell. You can never underestimate the Godolphin team. They can get them ready first up.”
The Kris Lees trained Lucia Valentina is having her first start since winning the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 9 while Hartnell is also resuming after finishing fifth to Winx in the Group 1 $600,000 Precise Air Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on February 27.
“It is just great to have Winx back, a lot of these good horses back as we prepare for the Spring. Racing is the best guide to tell us exactly where they are at and what changes have to be made through their preparations and horses like her you just hope they keep winning,” Waller said.
Winx dominates the Warwick Stakes betting at $1.35 at Ladbrokes.com.au with Lucia Valentina the next in the market order at $5.50 ahead of Rebel Dane at $8.
The rest of the field are at double figure odds with Hartnell at $13, Vanburgh at $31, Who Shot Thebarman at $71 and Grand Marshall at $151.