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Winx’s win in today’s Randwick barrier trial will have her looking picture perfect when she kicks off her Cox Plate defence in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 19.

Winx, above winning the 2016 Cox Plate at The Valley. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photo.

Winx, above winning the 2016 Cox Plate at The Valley. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photo.

Trainer Chris Waller sent Winx out to do a little bit extra at the end of her 1000m trial to just take the edge off of her for her first up run on her way to attempt to equal the legendary Kingston Town’s record of three consecutive wins in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) which will be run this year on October 28 at The Valley.

“She is a horse that gets fresh and she was even a bit fresh this morning at the barriers, she was playful, so this will just take the edge off of her and see her at the Warwick Stakes in picture perfect order,” Waller told the press conference following Winx’s trial win.

“After this morning’s trial she is normally where she would be when returning.”

Winx in the winner of twenty-one of her twenty-seven race starts with the last seventeen in succession, but today was the first time the champion mare has won a barrier trial in preparation for her return to the race track after a break.

Waller said that he didn’t intentionally tell jockey Hugh Bowman to win the trial, but told him to do a bit extra over the concludinng stages and he was happy with her performance.

“I was happy with her wining the trial. It is unusual for her,” Waller said.

“Both Hugh and I thought she might be doing a little bit too well at this stage of her preparation and just needed a stronger hit-out than normal because she’s a bit heavier than what she normally is.

“To have a nice easy trial but make sure the last 200m was her best.”

“She was in a nice forward position so I just wanted her to improve a couple of lengths.”

“So with today’s trial I think she’s right on track now for her first up run which will be the 1400m Warwick Stakes in ten or twelve days.”

“Conditions wise it should just tighten her up a little bit more.”

Waller said that there will be no need for an exhibition gallop on a race day leading up to the Warwick Stakes and will give her sufficient work to get her fit for her first up assignment on the training tracks.

“Normally have an exhibition gallop when she has three weeks in between runs, so I doubt she will so hence the reason for a slightly stronger trial this morning,” Waller said.

“When she has that three week gap, that’s when the exhibition gallops come into suiting her training regime.”

Bowman had Winx travelling just behind the leader Stampede midfield in the eight horse field and let the mare slide up the inside in the straight to record a three quarters of a length win over the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Pariah.

Waller said that Bowman was very pleased with the trial win and said she was ready to go to the races on Saturday week for the Warwick Stakes.

“He was very happy. He just said she was on her toes, she was pretty straight forward through the trial and she is ready to go for two weeks time,’ Waller said.

Winx will be gracing the race track for the first time since scoring a dominant five and a quarter lengths win in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8, her seventeenth win in succession.

The Ladbrokes Cox Plate will be Winx’s 2017 Spring Carnival Grand Final again and she dominates the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au at $1.50 to win her third Cox Plate in a row.

Early market order for the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.50 Winx, $26 Highland Reel, Makahiki, Egg Tart, Ribchester, Mekhtaal, Neorealism, Royal Symphony, Werther, $34 Articus, Decorated Knight, Exospheric, Gingernuts, Hartnell, Redkirk Warrior,  Scottish, Tosen Stardom, Yankee Rose, $41 Foxplay, Inference, Omei Sword, It’s Somewhat, $51 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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