Dual Cox Plate winner Winx will stay in Australia to be prepared for the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival with the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’ as her major target.
On the same day as Winx was named the third highest Longines ranked race horse in the world behind Breeders’ Cup Classic quinella of Arrogate and California Chrome and the best horse on turf, trained Chris Waller announced that his champion mare would not be campaigning overseas.
“Logistically so hard. I think it is best concentrating on Australian racing and we can have our fun down here I think,” Waller told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“Up in Europe it is so much easier to get around, whether it be France, England, or Ireland you can just skip across to America.”
“I guess everything is basically within a five hour flight.”
“But here not only is it a twenty-four hour journey, it is also the opposite hemisphere. It is so difficult.”
Winx took her winning sequence to thirteen when she won her second Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 by a record eight lengths as well as chalking up her ninth Group 1 success.
Waller sent Winx straight to the paddock and after consulting with her owners, decided that the best plan was to stay home and campaign the in Sydney during the Autumn Carnival.
“She might go to another level again in the Autumn and that’s what we are hoping,” Waller said.
Waller has mapped out a tentative 2017 Autumn Carnival program very similar to this year’s with Winx to resume racing in the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 11.
The mighty mare will then step out second up in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on February 25 before heading to the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 18.
Winx won all three of those races during this year’s Autumn Carnival before going on to win the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’.
But Waller will bypass the Doncaster Mile next year and concentrate on the weight for age Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“It will more than likely be around the tenth of February, I think it is the Apollo, 1400m, and then the Chipping Norton second up over the mile,” Waller said.
“Then probably George Ryder and Queen Elizabeth.”
“That is obviously missing out Melbourne. There are so many options you could change midway through the preparation but that is the basic guide to where we will be heading at this stage.”
Winx has a total of seventeen wins from twenty-three starts, including nine Group 1s, and $9,348,175 in prizemoney.