Will super star mare Winx set a new track record if she claims her third consecutive Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley today?
The Chris Waller trained Winx set a new Moonee Valley track record for the 2040m when she won her first Ladbrokes Cox Plate in 2015.
The track was rated a good 3 that day and with Hugh Bowman in the saddle, Winx was able to record a four and three quarter lengths wins over the well credentials Criterion and in the process set a new track record of 2:02.98 for the 2040m.
Winx returned to Moonee Valley twelve months later to win her second Ladbrokes Cox Plate with a demolition display of her rivals, setting up an eight lengths winning margin over the runner up Hartnell.
The track was rated a Soft 5 last year and therefore there was no chance of nudging the track record, with Winx clocking 2:06.35, but today the Moonee Valley surface is rated a Good 3 with the rail in the true position and with the possibility of there being some pressure up front, a new track record could be on the cards.
Front running Group 1 winner Gailo Chop from the Darren Weir stable, is certain to find the front from barrier three in the run to the first turn out of the straight while Dean Yendall on the lightly weighted three year old Royal Symphony could also be tempted to push forward from an outside gate.
There is also a strong possibility the Charlie Appleyby trained English galloper Folkswood will also challenge for the top spot but Hugh Bowman will be happy to let those players sort it out up front and will settle Winx one off the fence around the midfield mark.
Bowman will then reassess the situation at the 1000m before deciding when the best time will be to start chasing the leaders.
With a solid pace up front plus plenty of pressure from the 800m mark, the race could be set up for a new track record.
Trainer Chris Waller said this morning that Winx was in tip top condition to tackle her Spring Carnival Grand Final and create history by equalling Kingston Town’s record of three consecutive Ladbrokes Cox Plate victories.
“Everything has just gone to plan and that makes everybody’s job a lot easier and Winx is a little bit different. She is not a horse we worry about track conditions and even barrier draws rally,” Waller told Sky Racing HQ Saturday.
“It’s just about safety and making sure you get a little bit of luck in racing which you always need.”
“The horse is ready to go. Today being the Grand Final. Who knows if she will run again after today in this preparation. We will make that decision well after today.”
“Everything has been geared up towards today run.”
Winx is lining up for her twenty-second straight win and a third consecutive Ladbrokes Cox Plate victory after demolishing her rivals in the 2015 and 2016 runnings of ‘The Weight For Age Championship’.
The glamour mare has strung together twenty-one consecutive wins, her last two at Group 1 level in the $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on September 16 and in the $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 7.