Champion mare Winx continues to please trainer Chris Waller in the lead up to her 2017 Autumn Carnival debut in the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The Waller stable reported on twitter that Winx, with Hugh Bowman in the saddle, galloped with stablemate Preferment at Rosehill this morning and the dual Cox Plate winner had the better of her Apollo Stakes rival at the end of the 1000m hit out.
“Winx galloped this morning over 1000m and was ridden by Hugh Bowman. She galloped in company with Preferment and had the edge over him in the concluding stages and we thought both horses worked well. Hugh and Chris are both happy with where she is at this preparation and her fitness ahead of her first up run this Saturday in the Apollo Stakes at Randwick,” the tweet read.
Winx will be having her first run back since winning her second Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival and has finished third in two recent barrier trials in readiness for her Autumn Carnival campaign that will conclude with a run in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8, day two of ‘The Championships’.
In between the Apollo Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Waller has pencilled in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on February 25 and the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 18 for Winx.
Winx is undefeated since winning the Group 3 $125,000 XXXX Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast during the 2015 Queensland Winter Carnival with nine Group 1 victories among her thirteen consecutive wins which includes back to back wins in the Cox Plate during the 2015 and 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnivals.
Winx looks likely to resume on a rain affected track with Randwick currently rated a soft 6 on Tuesday morning with more rain expected in the Sydney area over the next couple of days with track manager Navesh Ramdhani not expecting the track to get back to a good rating even with fine skies later in the week.
“The rain is going to be here for the next couple of days and they (Bureau of Meteorology) are predicting some solid falls,” Ramdhani told Racenet.
“We’re likely to be running on a soft track given the rain that’s forecast. They are suggesting 10 to 20 mils today and similar today so it wouldn’t be a surprise to get as much as an inch.
“If that’s what we get, it’s unlikely even with the warm days expected on Thursday, Friday and Saturday that it would improve back into the good range to start Saturday’s meeting.
“With some luck we’ll improve back to the better side of soft.”
The wet track shouldn’t affect the performance of Winx who has won twice on a soft track and once on the heavy.
In early betting for the Apollo Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au Winx is dominating the market order at $1.25 with her nearest rival being the Team Hawkes trained Divine Prophet at $9.
Early market order for the Apollo Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.25 Winx, $9 Divine Prophet, $11 Global Glamour, Hartnell, $15 Endless Drama, $26 Dibayani, He’s Our Rokkii, $51 Shiraz, $61 Leebaz, $81 Ambience, Preferment, Sacred Master, $101 Libran, Magic Hurricane, Savvy Nature, $126, Lasqueti Spirit, $201 Grand Marshal.