Chris Waller’s stable star Winx is spot on for her return to the race track in the race named in her honour, the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Winx will be having her first run back since winning the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on day two of The Championships on April 14 and has come through two barrier trials in great shape.
Waller said that he has changed little in Winx’s 2018 Spring Carnival preparation and the champion mare wasn’t fully extended in two recent Rosehill barrier trials.
“It is good to back into the Winx routine. A couple of barrier trials which have been very good and she is primed for Saturday,” Waller said.
“She is spot on. She is ready to go.”
“What have we done differently this prep compared to last prep? Probably put an extra two per cent in there somewhere.”
“We didn’t take this race lightly being a Group 1 and fortunately we haven’t because it is a strong race.”
“Hopefully we can win the race again.”
The Winx Stakes was elevated to Group 1 status and named in Winx’s honour after the talented mare was the winner of the last two runnings of the 1400m weight for age race when it was known as the Group 2 Warwick Stakes.
The Warwick Stakes victories are among Winx’s sequence of twenty-five straight wins since she scored a last to first win in the Group 3 $125,000 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast during the 2015 Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.
Also included among her record equalling run are three wins in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley and Winx will be chasing a fourth straight win in the weigh for age championship which has had it prizemoney boosted from $3 million to $5 million when it is run on October 27.
Winx will be ridden again by regular race day partner Hugh Bowman and the mare has drawn barrier five in the eleven horse Winx Stakes field and Waller rates that gate perfect.
“I just can’t fault her, she is spot on. She is sharp and she has just developed into this lovely big strong horse that has matured,” Waller said.
“I think having spaced her races means she is here on Saturday as a seven year old ready to go.”
“In the last eight months she has only raced three times since the first of January.”
“So that is how we have looked after her and that is how we have got her here.”
Pre-post betting for the Winx Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Winx at $1.18 to win her twenty-sixth race in succession with the James Cummings trained Kementari the only other runner under the $10 mark at $6.50.