Trainer Chris Waller was pleased with the barrier trial performance of Winx at Rosehill Gardens and he revealed that he has returned from her stint in the spelling paddock as a much stronger mare.
Winx contested the opening barrier trial of the morning over 900 metres and she was kept under a heavy hold throughout by jockey Hugh Bowman, but she was still able to find the line well to finish third behind Our Boy Malachi and Solicit.
Waller said that Winx did exactly what he wanted in this morning’s barrier trial and he told G1X that he could not be happier with the physical condition of the Street Cry mare ahead of her return to racing.
“It was very good,” Waller said.
“She has come back well and a lot stronger.
“Not that she needs to improve, but she has come back a bigger and stronger animal.
“It doesn’t always suggest that they are going to be better come race day, but it makes my job easier and I can train her the way I want to train her.
“I am treating her with caution as I have done in the past to get her through to those races and I am very impressed.
“It is a good starting point and she will have a second trial now.”
The Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) will be the major 2016 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival goal for Winx, but Waller is still unsure exactly where his star filly will return to the races.
Winx could return to weight-for-age racing in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 13 or take on the fillies and mares a week later in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 20.
“We are leaning towards the mares race or the Apollo, which is the 1400,” Waller said.
“We would be looking at 1300 in the Millie Fox the week before or the Apollo.
“It will be one of those two races.”
Winx has recorded five race wins on the trot, included three at the highest level of racing, and she has not suffered defeat since she finished second behind Gust Of Wind in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m).
Winx is currently available at 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $4.60 with Ladbrokes and she is a dominant favourite from Criterion ($11), Highland Reel ($11) and Mongolian Khan ($11).