Cox Plate winner Winx produced a solid gallop at Randwick last Saturday in preparation for her return to the race track in the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick this weekend.
Trainer Chris Waller took the glamour mare to Randwick to give her a feel of race day conditions and with Hugh Bowman in the saddle, galloped over 1000m and worked to the line strongly.
Winx has been undefeated at her last five outings, which included three Group 1 wins, the $500,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben during the Brisbane Winter Carnival as well as the $1m The Star 150th Epsom (1600m) at Randwick and the $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley during the Spring Carnival.
Because of the high profile that Winx carries, Waller admits the mare deserves a little bit more attention as he prepares her for the rich Sydney Autumn Carnival and ‘The Championships’.
“With a horse like Winx you are always trying just that extra bit harder,” Waller said.
“She will be an important part of the carnival.
“People want to see her and want to see her win.
“It’s a different situation but I’m getting an idea of what Peter Moody went through with Black Caviar.
“We don’t want to leave any stone unturned.”
Waller has given Winx two barrier trials this preparation with the Street Cry mare finishing third at Rosehill and then sixth at Randwick and he was keen for her to have a good hit out at Randwick on Saturday.
“She is not a sensational trialler and she has been having a blow after her gallops which is why I wanted her to have a good hit-out at Randwick,” Waller said.
“Maybe I’m over analysing things.
“She is an extreme athlete and unlike some other horses she can race 95 per cent fit and still win.
“Racing her in the Apollo opens up the option of getting her to the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes two weeks later.
“I want to get the first race right.
“It’s a long carnival and she is a valuable horse.”
After the Apollo Stakes, Waller is looking to start Winx in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick a fortnight later as she heads towards the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 9, Day two of ‘The Championships’.
Winx currently heads the market order for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au at $3.80 with Cox Plate runner Criterion sharing the second line of betting at $11 with Aidan O’Brien’s Highland Reel and 2015 Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan.
The Chris Waller trained and Winx’s stablemates Preferment and Press Statement are next in the market order at $15.