Winx has captured all the attention ahead of the Turnbull Stakes and David Hayes doesn’t mind one bit.
Lindsay Park’s senior trainer is content with where his team is placed heading into the big spring races.
The stable has has nominated Harlem and Ventura Storm to tackle Winx in Saturday’s Group One race at Flemington over 2000m and will rely on the latter against the great mare.
Winx will be looking to extend her winning sequence to 21 when she runs on Saturday following her last-start win in the George Main Stakes at Randwick on September 16.
Hayes reasons Winx and Australian Cup winner Humidor, who won the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on September 16, will have the wood on his charge on Saturday, but says it is the ideal stepping stone to his first major spring goal.
That comes up on October 21 in the $3 million Caulfield Cup and Hayes said the five-year-old was ticking over beautifully.
He was unlucky not to finish a length or two closer to Humidor in the Makybe Diva having endured an interrupted passage in the straight.
“Those two horses will probably beat him at 2000 metres but under handicap conditions at 2400 metres I’m confident he’ll run well,” Hayes said.
“It’s a nice stepping stone race towards the Caulfield Cup and we just want him to run well on Saturday.
“His run was very similar to Harlem in the Heatherlie and then Harlem went to his right distance to qualify for the Caulfield Cup field.
“This one is qualified so there’s been no rush with him.”
Hayes said there was not a lot between Ventura Storm and Harlem in their training.
The pair came to Australia with strong international form.
“They’ve both developed how I thought they would,” Hayes said.
Restricted galloper Skyfire, from the Amy Johnston stable, was the only late nomination bringing the entries to 12 before acceptances are taken on Wednesday.
Skyfire has a handicap rating of 61, 23 points below Magicool who is the only other entry rated below 100 in Saturday’s race.
Winx continues to dominate betting with TAB at $1.18 ahead of Humidor ($5), Harlem ($17) and Ventura Storm ($26).