By Ray Hickson
Christmas will likely come early for fans of champion Winx eagerly awaiting confirmation that she will race on into at least the autumn of 2019.
Trainer Chris Waller has confirmed the seven-year-old mare has been in pre-training, along with rising star The Autumn Sun, for a few weeks and a decision is imminent on her immediate future.
“Winx has enjoyed her spell and commenced some light pre-training at the farm a few weeks ago,’’ Waller said.
“She has progressed well since returning, is bright and looks in excellent condition so I look forward to her return to our stables this week.
“I plan to meet with the ownership group and Hugh Bowman next week to discuss her immediate future and subsequent to that we will update everyone on the plans of a likely Autumn preparation.’’
The words ‘likely Autumn preparation’ are music to the ears of racing fans worldwide as the mare will have the chance to extend her unbeaten run that stands at 29 following her fourth Cox Plate win back in October.
Waller has followed a standard Sydney autumn preparation with Winx since her unbeaten run commenced in mid-2015 starting with the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in mid-February.
She won that race in 2016 and 2017 but didn’t contest the Apollo in 2018 when Bowman was suspended.
The past three Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) have fallen her way and Winx will be out to emulate Tie The Knot in claiming the feature mile four years running.
A four-peat is also on the cards in what could be her Rosehill swansong in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) on Golden Slipper Day.
Then it’s hoped Winx will headline Queen Elizabeth Stakes day during The Championships where she’ll be aiming to be the first horse in almost 100 years to win the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes three years running and the only to achieve that feat under the race’s current conditions, in place since 1979.
With 33 wins from 39 starts, Winx has amassed $22.9 million and is currently rated equal with Cracksman atop the world rankings.