By Brad Gray
Winx will be staying home.
Chris Waller has announced, after months of deliberation, that the only Royal race track the champion mare will be running at this campaign will be Randwick when she contests the $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on April 14, on Day 2 of The Championships.
“Following lengthy discussions between the owners, Hugh Bowman and I, it has been decided that Winx win will remain in Australia following the Queen Elizabeth Stakes… and not embark on an international campaign,” Waller said in a release.
“When contemplating a decision on her future there were a diverse range of matters to be considered, from wellbeing risks associated with travel to seasonal changes her hormones may undertake. As her trainer, it is my responsibility to continue to carefully manage her career as it enters the twilight phase.
“Winx has nothing to prove to anyone, she is and always will be regarded as a legend of the turf and it is champions like her that make up the fabric of this great sport.”
Waller later admitted he came “really close” to globe-trotting with Winx but instead called out other international raiders to take her on in her backyard.
“(This is) the best way to get her racing a little bit longer,” Waller said, “It is our plan to continue to race her into the spring.”
That would include a tilt at an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate.
After Winx’s stretched her winning sequence in Saturday’s George Ryder Stakes to 24, and broke the world record for most Group Ones at 17, Waller said his immediate focus is certainly on The Championships.
“(It) was very important to see her come back and be fairly dominant and obviously onwards to the Queen Elizabeth in three weeks’ time,” Waller said after the race.
“It’s the signature race in Sydney which we were never really going to miss unless she was going to campaign in Europe.”