Champion mare Winx remains the dominant favourite for the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8 following her return to the public eye in a Rosehill barrier trial today.
Winx was unextended by regular rider Hugh Bowman to finished third behind the leader Music Magnate and the fast finishing stablemate Endless Drama and the dual Cox Plate winner remains the $1.90 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the second day of ‘The Championships’.
“We were are pleased with her. We didn’t ask her to do a lot this morning but probably as good as she has trialled in her career,” Bowman said.
“She pulled up well and is moving well.”
Winx has gained a cult following and trainer Chris Waller is very keen to keep the nine times Group 1 winner in the winner’s stall during her Autumn Carnival campaign.
“We are conscious of doing the very best we can and hope that she keeps winning for the public but at the same time it is a sporting event and things can happen,” Waller said.
“We will do the best we can and hope to keep her in the winning tact.”
But Waller still shies away from comparing Winx with the unbeaten Black Caviar and three times Melbourne Cup winner nakybe Diva and says it is hard to put then in the same category.
“It is very hard and it becomes quite sensitive when you are comparing good horses,” Waller said.
“I think we have to respect Black Caviar for being unbeaten and taking on the best in the world over a short distance.”
“Makybe Diva is a good example of being the best two miler that Australia has ever seen . Maybe people older than me can debate that as well.”
“It is a talking point just like great sporting teams. What is the best NRL team? what is the best AFL team? what is the best tennis player that has been in Australia?”
“It is hard to compare but I know we have a pretty good one that would certainly open the batting for Australia.”
Winx was sent for a break after winning her second Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 by a record eight lengths as well as chalking up her ninth Group 1 success and Waller is happy with her progress in the build up to her return to the race track in the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 11.
Waller has mapped out a tentative 2017 Autumn Carnival program very similar to last year’s with Winx to resume racing in the Apollo Stakes before stepping out second up in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on February 25 followed by the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 18.
Winx won all three of those races during the 2016 Autumn Carnival before going on to win the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ but Waller will miss the famous Randwick Mile this year and run her in the weight for age Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Early market order for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.90 Winx, $11 Hartnell, $17 Omei Sword, $21 The United States, $26 Black Heart Bart, Comin Through, Jameka, Prized Icon, Sacred Elixir, Tosen Stardom, Yankee Rose, $31 Bondi Beach, Divine Prophet, Exospheric, Sir Isaac Newton.