Chris Waller’s super star mare Winx has been installed the odds on favourite again for the Group 1 $600,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Winx is one of seven horses nominated for the Caulfield Stakes and is the ruling $1.25 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au, well ahead of her nearest rival Black Heart Bart at $4.20.
The Darren Weir trained Black Heart Bart is the winner of two Group 1 races from his three Spring Carnival outings with a first up win in the $500,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 27 and a last start win in the $500,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 24.
Sandwiched in between is a second to stablemate Palentino in the Group 1 $500,000 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 10.
The Robert Hickmott trained The United States is the other runner under double figure odds at $9 in the early market order but will have to respond favourably to treatment if he was to take on the mighty mare after being scratched from last Sunday’s Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
The United States was forced to miss a vital Spring Carnival hit out when the Irish import was found to have mucus in his throat and will have to be at his best if he is to be competitive this week with Winx who is chasing her twelfth consecutive win.
Also among the nominations for the Caulfield Stakes are the Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Lucia Valentina at $13, the Lindsay Park trained He Or She at $17, The United States stablemate Gallante at $34 and Matt Laurie’s Escado at $151.
The final field for the Caulfield Stakes could have as little as five runners with Lindsay Park co-trainer David Hayes indicating that He Or She could head to the easier option of the Listed $300,000 Cranbourne Cup (2025m) at Cranbourne on Sunday.
“We threw in a nomination because it’s a small field,” Hayes told AAP.
“But it looks a two-horse race between her (Winx) and Black Heart Bart.
“It will be a good race but I think we’ll stick to the Cranbourne Cup.”
Hayes said the stable had endured a frustrating run in Group One races in the early part of the season, registering five placings.
“I think we’re due,” Hayes said.
“But this one may just be too tough.”
He Or She, who is also nominated for the Group 1 $500,000 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday, has been Group 1 placed at his last two start with a third behind Palentino and Black Heart Bart in the Makybe Diva Stakes followed by a second to Black Heart Bart in the Underwood Stakes.
Winx has captured the hearts of the Australian racing public with her incredible winning run that numbered eleven when she beat subsequent Group 1 Epsom winner Hauraki in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on September 17.
Winx’s other Spring Carnival victory was her first up win over Hartnell in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 20.
Winx is the current $1.80 favourite to win back to back Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.