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Winx Has a Spring In Her Step Ahead Of Return

By Brad Gray At Rosehill Gardens

Winx completed her final piece of work at Rosehill this morning before launching her spring in the $250,000 Group Two Warwick Stakes (1400m), before Hugh Bowman gave an insight into what makes the champion mare far superior to her rivals.

“It’s hard for me to tell when I’m working on my own, as I did this morning, and although she doesn’t work in company too often, when she does I get a really good idea of how much better she is than any other horse I’ve ever ridden,” Bowman said.

“It’s the same in a race. She can sustain her top speed for so much further than the any other horse I’ve ridden. It’s not that she can go faster it’s that she can sustain it for much further.”

The six-year-old mare chases 18 straight on Saturday at Royal Randwick, with TAB Fixed Odds currently rating her a $1.06 chance – the shortest odds she has ever been – and after Bowman’s buoyant comments this morning it’s easy to see why.

“She is full of nervous energy, as am I,” continued Bowman, “She is in really good shape and come along really well in the early stages in her preparation.

“Usually at this stage she is very calm and relaxed, taking everything in her stride and it’s not until we get to the business end of the campaign that she starts to feel as enthusiastic as she did this morning.

“It’s interesting that she is more on the ball at this stage of the preparation. She knows what she is here for and has been through the process a few times now but it’s exciting to have her so bubbly at this stage.”

Chris Waller suggested that Winx tips the scales around 8kg heavier than she was last preparation yet don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s the onset of a middle-aged spread.

“As a mature horse now she has put on a bit of extra weight but she has turned it into muscle and it looks to be an asset to her. It’s not a matter of asking her to improve at this stage in her career, it’s just a matter of maintaining her,” Waller said.

“She is exactly where we want her to be and each preparation has been a little bit different but quite remarkably she seems to be getting a little bit bigger and stronger and the scales would suggest that as well.

“I’ve spoken to her regular track rider Ben Cadden and he said she feels fit and is an all round product now as before she was always a little light. To see her in such good health, her body language suggests she is a very happy horse and still has the enthusiasm to race so we’re looking forward to the year ahead.

“This morning was just her final piece of work to have her in tip top condition ahead of Saturday.”

Winx has drawn barrier 2 in the field of eight but Waller said Bowman will be under no instructions to have her positioned anywhere in the race.

“We don’t over analyse things with her. We have so much confidence in Hugh Bowman. He is such a great rider and handles these situations so well. The more you complicate these things the harder it becomes,” Waller explained.

“She is just a natural athlete and seems to get herself out of problems so whether she is back, forward or wide she copes with all situations.

“Her determination is something very special. It’s as if she wants to be a winner.”

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Check out the fields, form and replays Royal Randwick on Saturday

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