Champion trainer Chris Waller is unfazed by daring tactics that could be used by rival runners against his mighty mare Winx in Saturday’s Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley.
Winx is zooming in on her third successive victory in the Cox Plate after annihilating her rivals in her wins in 2015 and 2016 and if successful will equal the long standing record of the legendary Kingston Town who held the Cox Plate crown in 1980, 1981 and 1982.
Waller said if the lightly weighted three year old goes out and sets a ridiculous pace or if a rival rider decides to produce mid race dare devil tactics, it will only hurt their chances, not Winx’s.
“I think with Winx it’s just a matter of getting her into a nice rhythm, not being too fazed by lightweight chances, where the pace is likely to come from,” Waller told AAP.
“Those horses obviously have to give their competitors some respect as well so I doubt there would be silly tearaway leaders or horses making mid-race moves because it will bring them undone.
“We all know that the Cox Plate adds a lot of pressure and any horse trying to run out of their ordinary I think will come unstuck.”
Winx will jump from barrier six in the nine horse Ladbrokes Cox Plate field and her regular rider Hugh Bowman will just keep her in a comfortable rhythm and give her every chance to create history.
“He’ll be aware of lightweight chances, horses drawn to his inside, horses that do race up on the pace and horses that get back,” Waller said.
“That’s about as much analysing as we’ll put into the race, because we’ve got a pretty good horse to cope with most scenarios.”
Trainer Tony McEvoy will saddle up the only three year old in field, Royal Symphony, who will only carry 49.5kg under the weight for age scale, but he is not sure if his Domesday colt is strong enough to sustain the pressure of a Cox Plate.
“Pressure starts building from 1200 metres and it’s a really tough race to win,” McEvoy said.
“You need a very tough horse.
“Is my horse tough? I’m not too sure.
“Is Winx tough? Yes.”
Winx dominates the betting for Ladbrokes Cox Plate at $1.16 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Winx kicked off her 2017 Spring Carnival campaign with two heart stopping wins in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) both at Randwick before adding to her Group 1 winning tally with a convincing win in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on September 16.
The Queen Of The Australian Turf then took her Group 1 winning record to fourteen with a runaway win in the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 7 and in the process extended her winning sequence to twenty-one.