Principal owner Peter Tighe has revealed that Cox Plate winner Winx will contest a barrier trial at Rosehill Gardens on Tuesday as she builds towards the start of her 2016 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign.
Winx only had three race starts during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, but she stamped herself as arguably the most talented horse in Australia when she took out the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m), Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in impressive fashion before she was sent to the spelling paddock.
Tighe revealed that Winx had taken plenty of benefit from her stint away from the stable and he told Radio TAB that trainer Chris Waller would decide on her exact program following the barrier trial, but he confirmed that the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 9 would be her major autumn target.
“She went out for a spell and she quite enjoyed her time out,” Tighe said.
“She has furnished quite nicely, we visited her at the farm a couple of weeks ago and she really enjoyed her spell and she looks great.
“She is now back in the stable and if my information is right she will be trialing on Tuesday.
“I would say she will have just one easy one and another more serious one after that.
“I am sure that Chris will have it all sorted out.
“He hasn’t finalized her program yet and he wants to just see how she comes back in the trial and then he will mark out a serious of races for her – I think it will be three or four heading into the Queen Elizabeth.”
Royal Ascot, Japan and Hong Kong were all touted as possible destinations for Winx following her outstanding victory in the Cox Plate, but Tighe said that the ownership group did not have any immediate plans to race her outside of Australia and another tilt at the Cox Plate would be her major 2016 Spring Racing Carnival goal.
“We have being invited – we got invitations to go to Japan just after she won the Cox Plate,” Tighe said.
“We were hoping that we would win the Cox Plate, but you are not sure planning forward.
“The only thing that Chris was certain of was that she would spell.
“This 12 months I think the other owners are in agreeance that we don’t go overseas and we race her in Australia.
“We culminate in racing her in the Cox Plate again at the end of the year.
“That is a long way off and we are happy to get this preparation up and going and see where she is at.”
Winx is currently available at 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $5 with Ladbrokes and she is a dominant favourite from Criterion ($11), Highland Reel ($11), Mongolian Khan ($11), Preferment ($15) and Press Statement ($15).