Owner Peter Tighe didn’t have to sanction an overseas campaign for his champion mare Winx to take on the world as she will be lining up against a true international field in Saturday’s Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on day two of The Championships at Randwick.
A trip to England to run at the Royal Ascot Carnival was scrapped after Winx won her twenty-fourth straight race with a victory in the Group 1 $1m The Agency George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 24.
Tighe was on hand to draw the ball out of the barrier barrel on Tuesday and came up with number ten for Winx in the ten horse Queen Elizabeth Stakes field that includes French import Gailo Chop, Japanese import Ambitious, Irish raider Success Days and the Darren Weir trained Humidor who started his racing career in New Zealand.
Regular rider Hugh Bowman will again partner Winx and Tighe said that the champion hoop will now have to do a little bit more work to do see that the glamour mare stretches her unbeaten record to twenty-five straight wins.
“I probably haven’t drawn the best barrier for them, make Hughie work a bit harder,” Tighe said.
“Everything is in line to hopefully take out the Queen Elizabeth but it a truly international race this year with so many horses. I think I looked at it, there is about six internationals, New Zealand, France, Japan.”
“So we will have our work cut out”
Tighe said that trainer Chris Waller and Bowman had reported that Winx had continued to please the stable and worked well on Tuesday morning.
“Just had a report through from Chris and Hughie that Winx had worked this morning (Tuesday) very well and we are more than happy going into the race,” Tighe said.
Winx will be lining up for her twenty-fifth straight win on day two of The Championships and is currently the $1.18 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au to score back to back wins in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Waller’s champion mare has been super impressive at her two Sydney Autumn Carnival outings with a seven lengths first up win in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on March 3 followed by a comprehensive win in the George Ryder Stakes.
Humidor is the second pick in the betting at $11 and is backing up after a disappointing eighth in last Saturday’s Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) on day one of The Championships at Randwick with stablemate Gailo Chop marked at $13.
Doncaster Mile winner Happy Clapper is next in the betting at $14 and is also backing up week to week and will line up next to Winx at gate nine in the starting stalls.