Australia’s new glamour mare Winx will face six opponents when she kicks off her 2016 Spring Carnival campaign in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Winx has drawn barrier four in the small seven horse weight for age field and will be lining up for her tenth straight win at her first race start since winning the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 2, the first day of ‘The Championships’.
Premiership winning trainer Chris Waller will saddle up more than half the field and as well as Winx, has 2015 Group 1 Champion Stakes winner Vanburgh and his two stayers Who Shot Thebaarman and Grand Marshall also resuming.
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 has declared that Winx is ready to go following a pleasing gallop with Bowman in the saddle on the Rosehill course proper on Tuesday morning.
“Winx worked well this morning (Tuesday) and Hugh was very happy with her,” Waller told AAP.
“She is ready to go and I’m happy with the others too.”
Grand Marshall, Jason Collett, barrier five, and Who Shot Thebarman, Brento Avdulla, barrier seven, are both having their first run back since running third and fourth in the Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 9.
Waller’s last Warwick Stakes runner Vanburgh, Glyn Schofield, barrier six, is also having his first run back since the Sydney Autumn Carnival when ninth to Tavago in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 2.
The Kris Lees trained Lucia Valentina has drawn the rails with Kerrin McEvoy replacing Damien Oliver who was aboard the mare when she won the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 9 at her last outing.
Rebel Dane with Tommy Berry to ride from barrier two, has the benefit of one recent race start and trainer Gary Portelli is happy with the way the seven year old has come through his first up second to Tycoon Tara in the Group 2 $175,000 Mark Moran Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 6 on a heavy track.
“It’s not ideal taking on Winx,” Portelli said.
“But I’m happy with how he has come back this time. He is bigger and stronger and has held his weight since his first start.”
The John O’Shea trained Hartnell makes up the seven horse Warwick Stakes field and will jump from barrier three with James McDonald in the saddle.
Hartnell only had one run during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Carnival for a fifth to Winx in the Group 1 $600,000 Precise Air Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on February 27.
Warwick Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.35 Winx, $6 Lucia Valentina, $8 Rebel Dane, $12 Hartnell, $34 Vanburgh, $81 Who Shot Thebarman, $151 Grand Marshall.