Australia’s favourite racehorse Winx returned to Moonee Valley last Saturday morning for a slick tune up in preparation for the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) on Saturday.
Winx made last year’s Cox Plate field look second rate with a four and three quarter lengths trouncing of her rivals and is currently a $2.10 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au to retain the weight for age championship title.
Trainer Chris Waller was on hand to watch his mighty mare go through her paces and couldn’t fault her as she sprinted down the Moonee Valley straight.
“I came here without a stopwatch,” Waller told the Sunday Herald Sun.
“I said to the boys what I wanted and I got exactly what I wanted — short, sharp work just to give her a good clean-out.
“She looked good, too.”
Winx has won her last twelve starts, including last year’s Cox Plate, and has also collected eight Group 1 trophies along the way, including five Group 1 wins since her empathic Cox Plate win twelve months ago and spent Sunday morning wading through the water at Altona Beach in Port Phillip Bay.
The Street Cry mare has had a trouble free Spring Carnival campaign with wins in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 20, the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on September 17 and the Group 1 $600,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 8.
The John O’Shea trained Hartnell ran second to Winx in the Warwick Stakes but has been racing in stunning form since with three wins on the trots, including a last start three and a quarter lengths win in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2 and has firmed up in the betting to be the $2.90 second pick.
Waller agrees with the bookies that Winx should be a short priced favourite and has a healthy respect for the in-form Hartnell.
“I guess her popularity shortens her price a little bit, but so does the wagering dollar when they’ve won on her the last 12 starts,” Waller said.
“But it’s good to see Hartnell shorten right up, I think that’s showing respect to Hartnell.”
“I’m very confident that she’ll run up to her best, yet I’m extremely respectful for it being a Cox Plate.”
French galloper Vadamos is on the third line of betting at $12 just ahead of Spring Champion Stakes winner Yankee Rose at $14.
Early Cox Plate market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.10 Winx, $2.90 Hartnell, $12 Vadamos, $14 Yankee Rose, $17 Lucia Valentina, $18 Black Heart Bart, Hauraki, $41 Jameka, Sir Isaac Newton, $61 Sacred Elixir, Awesome Rock, Happy Trails, Palentino, $71 Happy Clapper, $81 or more the rest.