Australia’s favourite race mare Winx has come through a gallop on the Flemington course proper in fine style in preparation for the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) there on Saturday.
Winx will be stepping out onto Flemington under race conditions for the first time in the Turnbull Stakes after only having raced in Melbourne on three previous occasions, once at Caulfield and twice at The Valley.
Amongst her run of twenty undefeated starts, Winx was able win twice at The Valley in the 2015 and 2016 Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) and also chalked up a win at Caulfield in the Group 1 $600,000 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) prior to her second Cox Plate victory.
Trainer Chris Waller sent Winx out to gallop on the Flemington course proper on Monday morning with Hugh Bowman in the saddle and both trainer and jockey were happy with the way the champion mare completed her work.
“She trailed approximately 200 metres behind stable mate Japonisme in her gallop to give her a lead and she worked over 1200m conservatively,” Waller told racing.com.
“She steadily built momentum into the work to ensure she knew what the long Flemington straight was all about and attacked the line well. Both Hugh and I couldn’t have been any happier with the work.
“It was a good work out which she recovered quickly from, I am therefore happy with her fitness.
“She ran approximately 1.04 for the 1000 metres and the last 400 in 23 seconds.
Waller will finalise Winx’s fast work for the week on Thursday morning before fronting the media with an update on the mare’s progress.
“She will have a very light gallop on Thursday morning prior to her media commitment at Flemington which we will be in touch with later in the week. It is great to see her settle in so quickly and not take any harm from the travel.”
Winx is the winner of the last two running of the Cox Plate and a third successive victory in the ‘Weight For Age Championship Of Australasia’ will see her equal the legendary Kingston Town’s record of three wins in 1980, 1981 and 1982.
Winx has kept her winning momentum going with three wins at Randwick during the 2017 Spring Carnival in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m), in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m).
Winx is one of twelve horses nominated for the Turnbull Stakes and has been installed the $1.20 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Darren Weir trained Humidor is the only other horse under the $10 mark at $5.50 and is coming off a last start win in the Group 1 $750,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 16.
Early market order for the 2017 Turnbull Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.20 Winx, $5.50 Humidor, $13 Harlem, $31 Abbey Marie, $34 Sir Isaac Newton, Ventura Storm, $41 Tally, $51 Amralah, $81 Gallante, $101 Assign, $401 Magicool, Skyfire.