Winx set to kick-off Cox Plate campaign

Posted by Sports News First on 24/7/2017
Filled in: Racing
Winx - Cox Plate

Well aware of the public interest in Winx, trainer Chris Waller has put a lid on what to expect when she steps out in a Randwick barrier trial.

Although the mare has the best winning record of any horse in training, she has never won a barrier trial and her trainer doesn’t expect that to change at Randwick on Monday.

The winner of her past 17 starts including two Cox Plates, Winx will have the first of two barrier trials before she returns to the races in the Group Two Warwick Stakes on August 19.

“She will have a normal trial,” Waller said.

“A trial is just like a pre-season game. It’s to test her fitness and readiness for racing.

“I would expect her to be midfield and I will be pleased if Hugh Bowman comes back and tells me she feels fit and well.”

Bowman has already given the mare a test at trackwork, riding her in a gallop on Friday.

“She’s in great shape,” he said.

Winx hasn’t been seen in public since she gave the talented Hartnell a 5-1/4 length thrashing in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in April.

“She has spelled well,” Waller said.

“She looks good. She may have put on a few kilos but is as athletic as ever.”

Her spring program after the Warwick Stakes will be the Chelmsford Stakes on September 2, the George Main Stakes on the 16th September then either the Craven Plate in Sydney on October 14 or the Caulfield Stakes over the same distance on the same day.

She will then attempt to join Kingston Town as a triple Cox Plate winner.

Waller would not be drawn on a preference for the Craven Plate at Randwick or the Caulfield Stakes, saying the state of the tracks would be the determining factor.

“We have to assess the tracks,” he said.

“Sydney tracks have copped a battering. We just want a safe surface.”