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Winx steps up third Cox Plate preparation

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Australia’s favourite racehorse Winx has returned to trainer Chris Waller’s Rosehill stables ready to step up her Spring Carnival preparation that will target a third successive win in the 2017 Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 28.

Winx and Hugh  Bowman, above, will be aiming for a third Cox Plate win in the Spring. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Winx and Hugh Bowman, above, will be aiming for a third Cox Plate win in the Spring. Photo by Daniel Costello.

A third successive win in the Cox Plate will see Winx equal Kingston Town’s record after the Tommy Smith trained super star made the ‘Weight For Age Championship of Australasia’ his own in 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Winx won her first Cox Plate in 2015 when she beat Criterion by four and three quarter lengths with regular jockey Hugh Bowman in the saddle and then the pair combined again to completely demoralise the field last year with an eight lengths victory over the Godolphin owned Hartnell.

Waller is happy with the way Winx has arrived back after a break and will confirm a Spring Carnival program in a couple of weeks which will probably begin with a run in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 19.

“I am very happy with the way she has returned from her winter break. She appears as to have filled out a little and this is backed up by the scales weighing 534kgs which is up about 5kgs at the same stage of her previous preparation,” Waller said in a statement.

“The Warwick Stakes is likely to be our starting point for her spring campaign, however I would like to get the next two weeks of training out of the way before locking in definite races.”

“Naturally, the spring program generally defines itself leading towards the Cox Plate and my intentions will be no different, spacing her races throughout to get her there in the best condition possible.”

Winx was sent for a spell after scoring her seventeen successive win and twenty-first win overall in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8, day two of ‘The Championships’ at the end of another perfect campaign.

Winx showed her dominance through the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival with four super wins and prior to her win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes was untroubled in winning her second Group 2 $250,000 The Star Apollo Stakes (1400m) and her second Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) both at Randwick as well as a second Group 1 $1m China Horse Club George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.

Winx’s winning run began just over two years ago when she won the Group 3 $125,000 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast in Queensland in May 2015.

Early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au has Winx posted as the $1.50 favourite to make it three Cox Plate wins in a row with the Aidan O’Brien trained Highland Reel and high class Japanese galloper Makahiki the next in the betting at $13.

Early market order for the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.50 Winx, $13 Highland Reel, Makahiki, $21 Ribchester, Werther, $26 Egg Tart, Mekhtaal, Neorealism, $34 Articus, Decorated Knight, Exospheric, Gingernuts, Hartnell, Omei Sword, Redkirk Warrior, Scales Of Justice, Scottish, Tosen Stardom, Yankee Rose, $41 or better the rest.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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