Australia’s favourite race horse Winx will take her first steps towards winning an historic third Cox Plate when she lines up in a 900m barrier trial at Randwick next Monday.
Winx is the winner of the last two runnings of the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley and another win would see the mighty mare equal the legendary Kingston Town’s record of three consecutive wins in the weight for age championship.
Trainer Chris Waller sent Winx for a well-deserved break after she won her seventeenth race in succession in scoring a commanding win in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8, day two of ‘The Championships’.
Waller has reported that Winx is shaping up nicely for her return to the racetrack in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 19 and will benefit greatly by her trial on the Randwick course proper on Monday.
“She’s good and we’re getting close now to her first-up run. It’ll probably be four weeks’ Saturday so she has her first trial on Monday at Randwick. It’ll just be a soft trial,” Waller told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“I don’t expect her to win or do anything special, she’ll just follow them around.”
“Two weeks later she’ll have a second trial where she’ll do a little bit more and then be ready for the Warwick Stakes (August 19).
“I couldn’t be happier. It’s just a matter of maintaining her, making sure she stays safe and holds her form.”
Winx is the winner of twenty-one of her twenty-seven starts but hasn’t been defeated since winning the Group 3 $125,000 XXXX Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast during the 2015 Queensland Winter Carnival.
Winx was simply outstanding during the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival with a combined winning margin of 17.5 lengths for her four wins on tracks ranging from a Good 4 to a Heavy 10.
Hugh Bowman was on board for all of her Autumn Carnival wins in the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick and in the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill prior to her win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Winx has also won her two Cox Plates by large margins with four and three quarter lengths between her and runner up Criterion on 2015 while she almost doubled that winning margin with an eight lengths victory over Hartnell last year.
Winx is an overwhelming $1.50 favourite for the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate in early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, well ahead of her nearest international rivals Highland Reel and Makahiki at $15.
Early market order for the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.50 Winx, $15 Highland Reel, Makahiki, $21 Ribchester, Werther, $26 Egg Tart, Mekhtaal, Neorealism, Royal Symphony, $34 Articus, Decorated Knight, Exospheric, Gingernuts, Hartnell, Omei Sword, Redkirk Warrior, Scales Of Justice, Scottish, Tosen Stardom, Yankee Rose, $41 or better the rest.