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Winx Would Be In For Ryder Fight

By Brad Gray

Chris Waller has no doubt Winx would be willing to duke it out if one of her rivals threw down the gauntlet in Saturday’s Chine Horse Club George Ryder (1500m) at Rosehill.

“That challenge will come one day and I’m sure she’ll be in for the fight when it does come. It could very well be Saturday,” said a noticeably relaxed Waller this morning.

“With her racing she seems to get there quite effortlessly and get the better of her rivals at the 2-300m mark.

“It’s bringing together a lot of in-form horses and great to see. We are certainly not running away from any challengers. We never have and never will. It’s good to see so many headline horses in there.

“I saw Chautauqua walk past this morning only because he is grey and is a great horses to watch when he does work. It's healthy rivalry.”

Winx, who proved last start in the Chipping Norton Stakes that the wet track won’t stop her from adding win 16 to her picket fence, faces the prospect of another heavy surface.

“Although the weather has been wet it hasn’t interrupted her preparation at all, topped off this morning with a nice gallop to put the finishing touches on. Her condition is exactly where we want it to be,” said Waller.

“It was great to hear Hugh’s comments after he dismounted saying she is a good as we can get her.

“It’s never perfect to be racing on heavy tracks but Rosehill looks very safe. There is good grass cover and when you’ve got that it helps absorb the water and make it a nice smooth track for the horses.”

Meanwhile, Hugh Bowman, who has steered Winx to her last 12 victories, said the five-year-old feels “stronger than ever”.

“I rode her work on Tuesday and she went through her paces really well, doing her main piece of work,” said Bowman after spinning Winx around the course proper.

“Today she was just ticking over for Saturday and she is feeling stronger than ever.

“The track is pretty rain-affected but I don’t feel it is as wet as in the Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick. With a fair bit of rain forecasted there is every chance that it will get to that stage but it is not something that I can predict.

“(The George Ryder) is a good race every year one of the best races through the whole Sydney autumn. It’s going to be a good test for the mare but going to be a good test for them too.”

Check out the fields for Rosehill on Saturday

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