A soft Randwick track on Saturday could dampen the chances of super star Winx in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) according to her rider Hugh Bowman.
Winx is the reigning $1.85 favourite at Ladborkes.com.au for the famous Randwick feature mile on the first day of ‘The Championships’ and is chasing her ninth win on the trot with Bowman riding her to victory for six of her last eight wins.
The Chris Waller trained glamour mare has been handicapped with 56.5kg and will have to give up to 6.5kg to several runners on the 50kg mark and Bowman said the combination of the weight and the prospect of a rain affected track cold go against Winx’s amazing acceleration when let down in the straight.
“If the track happened to come up extremely wet then it would hold some concern,” Bowman told The Daily Telegraph.
“I know the turn of foot she can show on a dry track, it’s amazing. It’s like holding trump card. You sit there waiting to play it and when you do, it makes you smile.”
“In an ideal world we would get reasonably dry track again this weekend.”
The Randwick track was rated a heavy 8 on Wednesday morning and even though the forecast leading up to the weekend in looking fine, Randwick track manager Navesh Ramdhani can’t see it getting back to better than a s soft 6 on Saturday morning.
“I expect a soft (6) come Saturday morning,” Ramdhani said.
“And I reckon there is a good chance we will get an upgrade to a soft (5) during the day.”
If the track still has plenty of moisture in it come Doncaster Mile race time, Bowman said that barrier eleven will be a good gate to come out of.
“You wouldn’t want her hemmed away on the Randwick fence looking for a run, especially when it’s wet,” Bowman said.
“I would rather be drawn where we are than barriers one to four.
“It’s hard to know what will unfold in a race but it looks as though she will get a very similar run to what we did in last year’s Epsom Handicap when she won very well.”
Winx’s win in the 2015 Group 1 $1m The Star 150th Epsom (1600m) at Randwick was her fourth in her latest run of eight consecutive wins and preceded her famous victory in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The Doncaster Mile is Winx’s first run under handicap conditions since winning the 2015 Epsom with her last four wins all being at weight for age, including the Cox Plate, and her three Autumn Carnival wins in the Group 2 $250,000 Optus Business Apollo Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 $600,000 Precise Air Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick and the Group 1 $1m China Horse Club George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.
Waller can’t fault the condition of Winx heading into the Doncaster Mile and reported that her work on Tuesday morning was first class.
“Her work was great. It’s all systems go for her to take the next step, which is beating them at handicap conditions with close to top weight,” Waller said.
Waller, who has trained an amazing fourteen Group 1 winners already this season, will also saddle up last year’s Doncaster Mile winner Kermadec ($7.50) and Group 1 Railway Stakes winner Good Prospect ($26).
Doncaster Mile market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.85 Winx, $7.50 Kermadec, $11 Azkadellia, $12 Happy Clapper, $13 Bow Creek, $17 First Seal, $21 Turn Me Loose, $26 Volkstok’N’Barrell, Good Project, He Or She, $51 Stratum Star, $61 Ecuador, Rudy, $101 Vergara, $201 Aomen.