Chris Waller’s champion mare Winx is likely to line up in a second Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 6 on her way to claiming a fourth straight win in the 2018 Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley three weeks later.
Winx dominated the 2017 Turnbull Stakes with a six and half lengths win prior to claiming a third successive victory in the Cox Plate, equalling the record of three times Cox Plate winner Kingston Town who won the weight for age championship in 1980, 1981 and 1982.
Waller has selected the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White (George Main) Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 15 as Winx’s next run before heading to Melbourne.
“I would say so (the Turnbull Stakes) but as I’ve said always, we are taking it one run at a time and concentrating on that and not getting too far ahead of ourselves but everything is looking pretty good at the moment,” Waller told RSN927’s Racing Pulse.
“The Caulfield Stakes is obviously a back-up plan if something – God forbid – went amiss holding her up.
“People say ‘Why don’t you just go to the Caulfield Stakes?’ but if you go to the Caulfield Stakes and miss that run, you’re on the back foot.
“I always like to keep a week spare if we need it so the Turnbull does look likely.
“We’ve got options in Sydney at the same time but there’s always a risk in travelling horses so you’d like to get her down there a little bit early and that would be the reason for probably going for the Turnbull.”
Winx claimed her twenty-sixth win in succession when she kicked off her 2018 Spring Carnival campaign with a business as usual with a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 18.
Waller has reported that Winx has come through her first up win in great order and was very happy with the way she galloped at Rosehill on Thursday morning in the Melbourne direction.
“She had a gallop yesterday, we went to the reverse way, getting her warmed up for Melbourne,” Waller said.
“The track down the back straight as Rosehill is perfect at the moment so she galloped basically on carpet and stretched out well.
“She was really happy. She’ll have a similar gallop same time next week before the race in about eight days’ time.”
Winx has been marked at $1.45 at Ladbrokes.com.au to win her fourth successive Cox Plate with last year’s runner up Humidor on the second line of betting at $15.
Early betting for the 2018 Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.45 Winx, $15 Humidor, $21 Benbatl, $26 D’Argento, Grunt, Happy Clapper, Invictus Prince, Poet’s Word, $31 Kementari, $34 Kings Will Dream, Saxon Warrior, $41 Avilius, $51 Hunting Horn, Seabrook, The Autumn Sun, $61 or better the rest.