Winx’s four stablemates will be no match for her when they all line up in the Group 2 $250,000 The Star 2017 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
While Winx dominates the Apollo Stakes betting at $1.14 at Ladbrokes.com.au, Endless Drama at $31, Libran at $71 and Preferment and Sacred Master at $151 appear to be just making up the numbers.
Trainer Chris Waller along with the rest of the racing world expect Winx to continue on her winning way and claim her fourteenth straight victory and the champion trainer has declared the dual Cox Plate winner has come through a faultless preparation.
Regular rider Hugh Bowman is back in the saddle again on the new darling of the Australian Turf who will jump from gate two after drawing three in the original draw before Savvy Nature and Global Glamour were scratched.
“She is going very well. Can’t fault her at all. Her prep has gone perfectly well. Hugh Bowman was happy with her this morning (Thursday) in her final piece of fast work,” Waller said.
“She has drawn gate three. She should just give herself a nice run.”
“It is always a little bit of a concern wondering how they have come back. Everything we look at has pleased me, I would not have changed anything in her prep so far and she is in for another good preparation here.”
Of Waller’s other four Apollo Stakes runners, he is expecting Irish import Endless Drama to finish the closest and can see him improving on his only Australian start when last of twelve in the Group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
“Really promising horse and he has now had the benefit of an Australian preparation. We have seen him trial well and we have seen him work well,” Waller.
“He is a horse that has run second in the Irish Guineas to Gleneagles. He is a quality horse. It could be a bit sharp for him and the draw is a bit of concern but he will be the one to watch out of the race.”
Waller said that Preferment will definitely need a couple of runs early in the Autumn before he is ready to produce his best and Libran and Sacred Master are headed towards the Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 8, day two of ‘The Championships’.
“He (Preferment) will need a few runs. It is important to get these lead up runs into them and when he is over a suitable distance that is when he will fire,” Waller said.
“He has come back fine.
“(Wet track) is a concern but he can’t win the race anyway even if it was a good track. He needs mileage into his legs, that is the only things that will get an entire like him fit.”
“He (Libran) won three in a row and then second in the Sydney Cup, and a brave second at that. He has got gate thirteen, he will get back and run on and the Sydney Cup is his race this year.”
“Sacred Master is pretty much the same as Libran. He did a good job last prep and he has now had a full Australian preparation and we will often see improvement from them.”
“Races like the Chairman’s, not sure if he is a genuine two miler although he has been placed in an Auckland Cup. But the Chairman’s is his race and hopefully onto the Sydney Cup following that.”
Winx is currently available at 2017 Apollo Stakes odds of $1.14 with Ladbrokes and she is a dominant favourite from Hartnell at $9.50 and Dibayani at $20.