By Brad Gray
Before kicking off her campaign last preparation Chris Waller made no secret of the fact that Winx had improved again. This morning Waller spoke at length about how she has returned, if she gets any special treatment and her international plans.
“It’s hard to see she has come back better than where she was. We did say it in the spring that we thought she was a better horse than 12 months before. Going into the Cox Plate, we thought we had a better product and a more mature horse but she’s reached that maturity now,” said Waller.
“She’s a horse at the peak of her career and as a result she can’t improve. She’s just got to hold her own and we’ve got to hope there is no budding champion on the way through to take the crown off her head.
“She is a foolproof horse and that’s what makes her so good. She’s an athletic horse and regardless of track conditions, distances, where they are running, whether it be Melbourne left handed or Sydney right-handed it doesn’t really seem to have any impact on her performance.
“She makes the jockey and the trainer look pretty good.
“We may have a chat to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to see what they are doing to perform so well in their career for so long.”
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) January 30, 2017
After a second trial on the Rosehill course proper this morning, Waller will endeavour to have her tuned up for her resumption in the Apollo Stakes on February 11. However, the champion mare doesn’t get any special treatment around the stable.
“With a horse like Winx every race is important. She is starting to get household recognition and it’s important that she is there in Sunday morning’s paper after each race not just the Queen Elizabeth,” Waller said.
“We very much try to treat her just like any horse. She doesn’t like all the thrill and the glamour that comes with her title. She’s just very happy to be another horse in the stable. She has got no special position in her barn. She’s got her own neighbours that she gets on well with and we pay particularly close attention to that. In fact, with the staff we tell them not to fuss over her too much.”
Having recently been bestowed the world’s best turf horse, Waller has grand plans to take on the world in 2018 but the prize money levels will keep him here in the meantime.
“It’s a shame from a world stage that we haven’t gone earlier but you’ve got to respect Australian racing. There is very good prize money on offer in the upcoming Championships and the autumn carnival. It’s great racing every week and our prize money in comparison to the rest of the world is superior so she will get that opportunity to take on the rest of the world but at the same time, they’ve got the opportunity to come to our shores. The invitation is there if they want to come out.”