By Brad Gray
Chris Waller has ended any speculation as to when we’ll see Winx resume in the spring.
The world's highest rated horse will tackle the race renamed in her honour, the Group One Winx Stakes (1400m) on August 18 at Royal Randwick. The $500,000 feature, which Winx has won the past two years, was formerly the Group Two Warwick Stakes.
“She’ll run over 1400m first up," Waller said.
"The Winx Stakes is where she’ll run. It makes it a little bit easier to prepare her here in Sydney."
As she has done in the past, the rising seven-year-old will trial twice, with the first of those to be later this month on the 20th of July at Warwick Farm or three days later at Rosehill Gardens, while an exhibition gallop is also pencilled in ahead of her return.
Hugh Bowman was at Rosehill on Thursday morning to ride Winx at trackwork with Waller reporting that the Street Cry mare is showing all the right signs.
“Hughie pulled up well. Winx pulled up better. Her attitude and body language is great,” said Waller.
Waller admitted to feeling more relaxed about Winx's impending campaign, which will include a bid for a historic fourth straight Cox Plate.
“We’ve been training her long enough to almost be used to it. The first year was just like training any other horse, the second year the pressure was on with the expectation to keep her performing. Do we try new things, keep it the same? Her body was changing,” revealed Waller.
“The third year she went to a whole new level again, getting close to Black Caviar’s records and other records, but now she has reached her fourth year, it’s just like last year but we’ve been there before. I’m actually feeling quite relaxed about her.”
A win in the Winx Stakes would see her surpass the winning streak of Black Caviar, set at 25, and bring up 19 Group One victories.
TAB have opened a futures market on the Winx Stakes with Winx $1.10 favourite ahead of Kementari ($11) with D'argento, Happy Clapper and Pierata all $15.