Four times Cox Plate winner Winx is set to ramp up her 2019 Autumn Carnival campaign when she steps out in a 900m barrier trial at Rosehill on Tuesday.
Winx is the winner of her last twenty-nine race starts and is set to kick off her last campaign in the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 14.
Trainer Chris Waller said that Winx had returned to the stable in great shape and said he would take one race at a time with his champion mare but the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 13 on day two of The Championships is likely to be her final race appearance.
“We will not commit to any races as yet but it would be logical to follow the path we have previously, commencing in the Apollo Stakes at Royal Randwick in February and if she did manage to get through a four-race preparation it would most likely culminate in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick,” Waller said.
“I must stress to everyone that it shouldn’t be assumed she will be there, it will be a race by race assessment as it has always been, especially over the past two seasons when deciding whether to go towards a third Cox Plate, a second Queen Elizabeth or even a fourth Cox Plate as it was in her last start.”
“She’s really well, she has had three gallops. Amazingly, she is showing the same keenness and enthusiasm for her work.”
“It is quite unbelievable and there is no hesitation (from me) at the start of the prep. Any signs of her ageing aren’t there, any signs of her slowing aren’t there.”
Winx re-wrote the history books when she claimed her fourth successive win in the Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley during the 2018 Melbourne Spring Carnival which also chalked up the mighty mare’s twenty second Group 1 win.
Following her run in the Apollo Stakes, Winx will be chasing a fourth win in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on March 2 followed by a fourth attempt to win the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 23 before her possible farewell appearance in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Winx will line up against nine other rivals in the Rosehill barrier trial on Tuesday which will include Group 1 winners Ace High and Alizee while early betting for the 2019 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Winx as the $1.20 favourite to claim the winning trophy for the third consecutive year.
Winx’s race record: 39 starts: 33 wins (including 22 Group 1 wins), 3 seconds, 0 thirds with prizemoney earnings of $22,934,924.