Sydney’s premiership winning trainer Chris Waller has confirmed the obvious that Winx has had a faultless preparation heading into her third Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on Saturday.
Winx is undefeated from her last twenty-one starts which includes wins in the 2015 and 2016 Cox Plates and heads into this year’s Weight For Age Championship as the $1.16 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The super star mare arrived back in Melbourne for the third time to annihilate her rivals in the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 7 and Waller said that the six year old mare hasn’t put a hoof wrong since.
“Before the Cox Plate last year, we said there needed to be a champion to beat her because she was as good as we could have her,’’ Waller told The Daily Telegraph.
“Nothing has changed going into this year’s Cox Plate. Her ‘semi-final’ run in the Turnbull Stakes was very impressive and although it will be a stronger field (Saturday), her work, the perfect three-week gap between races, it couldn’t have been better.
“That to me would suggest she is very well.”
“She looks in great condition, her coat is starting to come through nicely, her blood levels are good — every check that we are looking for has been perfect.’’
“Her Tuesday morning gallop (at Moonee Valley was a nice piece of work as her main gallop was here at Flemington last Saturday.’’
“She was equally as impressive in that workout as she was this time last year.’’
Winx’s permanent race day partner Hugh Bowman is certain to give the glamour mare a trouble free run from barrier six in the nine horse Ladbrokes Cox Plate field and barring bad luck the mare should take possession of her third Cox Plate trophy.
Waller said that he still respects the other eight runners in the field and admits that you also need luck to go your way in any race.
“Obviously you still need luck in racing. It might not be the strongest Cox Plate but still is a field that you give respect to,” Waller said.
“You have got international horses, good Australian horses, you have got young horses all coming together.”
“It is a race like very few other races, it’s a high intensity race and obviously she relishes that type of pressure.”
Winx’s domination of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate betting is so great that her nearest rival in the market order is the Tony McEvoy trained three year old Royal Symphony at $16 ahead of the Darren Weir trained pair of Humidor and Gailo Chop at $20.