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Winx Trials ‘As Good As She Ever Has’

By Brad Gray At Royal Randwick

Winx fired a warning shot to her potential rivals ahead of the Sydney spring carnival trialling in sensational fashion at Royal Randwick on Monday morning.

The star mare saw a cluster of reporters and camera crews follow her around at what would typically be a very low key set of barrier trials. However, the star attraction took it all in her magnificent stride and as we’ve come to expect from the rising six-year-old, often stopped dead still to take in her surroundings.

Winx trialling at Randwick - July 24

Winx ran on strongly to run third behind Diamond Tathagata and Comin’ Through and despite her record of 17 straight wins, and 21 victories from 27 career starts, she hasn’t yet won a trial in 15 outings.

“It’s probably as good as she has ever trialled in all honesty,” said Hugh Bowman.

“She felt great and is in a really good frame of mind. Her action is exactly where she left off last preparation and she feels to me as though she has strengthened up a little bit with natural development.

“She was very relaxed early on in the trial and when I got some open space in the final 200m she really surged to the line. I allowed her to use herself just a little bit but I just kept a lid on her and she can do a bit more in her next trial.”

That trial will be on August 8 at Royal Randwick before kicking off her spring assault in the $250,000 Group Two Warwick Stakes on August 19 again at Royal Randwick.

“She has certainly gained popularity over the past 12 to 18 months and rightly so. Her form is outstanding and she is a very special racehorse. She continues to improve as she goes and judging by what I felt this morning there is no reason why she can’t continue in the same way,” said Bowman.

“It is early days and we’ve got a long preparation ahead. (This morning is) just a stepping stone and when she gets to the races for the first time there will be a feeling of anticipation and nervousness but until then it’s one step at a time.”

Training a horse of Winx’s calibre of course comes with plenty of pressure but Chris Waller, much like the daughter of Street Cry, doesn’t let it phase him.

“I thought a little bit about it over the weekend. It’s just a pre-season game though and we wanted to make sure she got to this morning with reasonable fitness and the trail itself has gone well,” said Waller.

“I really liked the way she settled and quickened up the last 200m. She went through the line with plenty of running and authority.

“She has finally developed into a mature racehorse… and is as strong as you’ll ever see her. We purposely don’t let her get too heavy so that we’re not making it too hard for her to get back to full fitness again.

“There are a lot of options in the spring which can be determined by the weather. If you get heavy tracks it makes their runs a little more taxing and therefore you may look to spread her races out. We’ve got the first race mapped out though and what happens from their will be pretty traditional.”

Watch all the replays of Monday's barrier trials at Royal Randwick

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