By Brad Gray
This is likely to be the last time a rival beats Winx home this autumn. The star mare stepped out for her second trial of the preparation ahead of her return in the Apollo Stakes on February 11.
Hugh Bowman dropped her out the back of the field before letting her move through her gears to finish third behind Nancy and Sacred Master.
Winx - look for the blue silks down the outside
“Very similar to her first trial, it’s the start of a long preparation and an important preparation to defend her crown as now the world’s best horse on turf,” said Chris Waller.
“She was just there to stretch the legs, get the lungs moving. It’s a very warm day in Sydney today and we are mindful to not overtax any horse let alone Winx. So just went through the motions, settled back early to ensure she got into a nice position and comfortable getting her breathing right.
“(We’ll) increase the intensity of her work probably towards the end of the week and then back off going into her first-up run.
“The beauty with her is every time you raise the bar she seems to rise to that level. She may not win by big margins at the start of her preparation but when you put her under a bit of pressure at the business end in those big Group Ones like the Queen Elizabeth during the Championships that’s when we’d really expect her to show her dominance. In trials she’ll just run as fast as she needs to run but put her under pressure and she’ll respond.”
Bowman weighed in after the heat, suggesting that Winx had taken natural fitness benefit from that first trial and feels she is now ready for the races.
“She feels good. She felt a little more forward for this morning’s heat. Again we didn’t ask her to do a lot but there’s a little bit of moisture in the ground so she enjoyed that,” Bowman said immediately after jumping off the mare.
“If you watch her over the final stages you’d have seen her stretching out really nicely, so ready for the races now.”
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) January 30, 2017