Trainer Chris Waller’s glamour mare Winx has drawn nicely at barrier four in the 2017 Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Winx is one of six Waller trained horses to make up the ten horse field for the weight for age Randwick feature mile, the others being Preferment (barrier 8), Grand Marshal (barrier 5), Who Shot Thebarman (barrier 1), Libran (barrier 3) and Endless Drama (barrier 7).
Two runners will carry the Godolphin royal blue colours with Hartnell drawing the extreme outside barrier in the ten horse Chipping Norton Stakes field while Magic Hurricane has drawn in close at two.
Cranbourne based co-trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young have accepted with Australian Derby winner Tavago who has drawn barrier six while Crown Oaks winner Lasqueti Spirit will jump from gate nine.
Winx will be chasing her fifteenth win in succession after being undefeated since winning the Group 3 $125,000 XXXX Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast during the 2015 Queensland Winter Carnival and along the way the champion mare has collected nine Group 1 trophies which includes the 2015 and 2016 Cox Plates.
The Street Cry mare kept her winning momentum going in scoring her fourteenth win on the trot with an effortless first up victory in the Group 2 $250,000 The Star Apollo Stakes (1400m) at the postponed Randwick meeting last Monday.
Waller said that Winx has come through the run in great order and she has actually put on a couple of kilos since her first run back after winning her second Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
‘We weighed her and she’s put on a couple of kilos since the Apollo,” Waller AAP.
“So she is holding her racing weight and that’s important.
“She is fit and our job is to maintain that and keep her going through the preparation and she’s as good as she can be.”
Hugh Bowman will again be aboard Winx while Brenton Avdulla is the new rider for Hartnell, replacing James Doyle who is on the sidelines with a broken hand.
Doyle is out from England as the stand-in number one rider for Godolphin after their contracted jockey James McDonald was disqualified for eighteen months after pleading guilty to placing a bet on the stable’s smart three year old Astern in his debut win in December 2015.
Hartnell finished second to Winx in the Apollo Stakes which was the third time the John O’Shea trained import was runner-up to the champion mare following his second in the the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick and in the Cox Plate during the 2016 Spring Carnival.
After she runs in the Chipping Norton Stakes on Saturday, Winx will head towards the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 18 before ending her 2017 Autumn Carnival campaign in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8, the second day of ‘The Championships’.