Sydney’s premiership winning trainer Chris Waller is positive that his champion mare Winx will line up in better shape in Saturday’s Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick.
Winx is chasing her twentieth straight win on Saturday and has come through two gut busting runs in top order to kick off her 2017 Spring Carnival campaign that will head towards attempting to win a third consecutive Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 28.
Hugh Bowman had to lift Winx first up to run down her stablement Foxplay in winning the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 19 then the glamour mare proved her toughness when Bowman had to extend her to her highest level to chase home and beat Red Excitement in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick two weeks later.
Waller said that Winx has come through her latest tough run in fine style and has actually put on condition heading towards Saturday’s weight for age contest.
“She has come through her last start well and has put on three kilograms,” Waller told AAP.
“We went through the sectional times and she can’t run much faster.
“I think she is as well if not better than last time. Her coat is coming through and she is as sound as you could dream of.”
Winx is likely to have one more run after the George Main Stakes as her final lead up to the Cox Plate with Waller still undecided if she will stay in Sydney for the Group 3 $500,000 Craven Plate (200m) at Randwick on October 14 or head to Melbourne on the same day for the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on the same day.
If Waller sticks to that plan Winx will miss running in the Group 2 $500,000 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on September 30.
“We have planned her program to miss a race and it would likely be the Hill Stakes,” Waller said.
“Missing a race doesn’t concern me as much as over-racing her.”
Winx is quoted at $1.50 at Ladbrokes.com.au to win her third consecutive Cox Plate, way ahead of her nearest rival in the betting, last year’s runner up Hartnell at $21.
Early market order for the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.50 Winx, $21 Hartnell, $26 Highland Reel, Tosen Stardom, $34 Egg Tart, Humidor, $41 Deauville, Exospheric, Gailo Chop, Royal Symphony, Yankee Rose, $51 or better the rest.