Champion mare Winx had come through her heart stopping win in the Warwick Stakes at Randwick last Saturday is great shape and is set to run second up in the Group 2 $250,000 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 2.
Trainer Chris Waller reported that Winx recovered quickly after putting a scare through the Australia Racing fraternity when she missed the start by four lengths before coming from last to record her eighteen successive win in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m).
“I went and saw her 15 minutes after the race and you wouldn’t have known she’d had a run,” Waller told Sky Sports Radio.
“She pulled up as well as I’ve seen her in a first-up run before. I guarantee its the best she’s ever pulled up.
“The first-up run is so important – it sets the whole preparation.
“You just want to see them come back.”
Winx was having her first Spring Carnival outing in the Warwick Stakes as a lead to the 2017 Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 28.
Winx has won the last two runnings of the Cox Plate by a cumlative margin of just under thirteen lengths and a third successive win in this year’s Cox Plate would see her equal Kingston Town’s all-time record of three wins in a row in the ‘Weight For Age Championship of Australasia’.
Winx was sent out at the short price of $1.10 favourite in the Warwick Stakes and while it looked like her backers where in trouble as she tacked onto the field at the 800m mark, Hugh Bowman kept his cool and eased the the super mare to the outside in the straight.
Bowman let Winx use the entire Randwick straight to reel in the leaders and was able to nab her stablemate Foxplay a couple of strides from the post to record a dramatic win.
“Hugh never panicked and when you put the reins in his hands you know that you have the right man aboard,” Waller said.
“He realised that he has to make up a bit of ground and he used the full amount of the straight to do it, instead of panicking at the 300 metre mark.”
Winx remains a dominant $1.50 favourite for the Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au with her nearest rival in the betting being the Aidan O’Brien trained Irish galloper Highland Reel at $21 just ahead of the Darren Weir trained Humidor and last Saturday’s P.B. Lawrence Stakes winner Hartnell at $26.
Early market order for the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.50 Winx, $21 Highland Reel, $26 Hartnell, Humidor, $34 Egg Tart, Tosen Stardom, $41 Neorealism, Deauville, Royal Symphony Exospheric, Gailo Chop, Yankee Rose, $51 or better the rest.