Spring Racing Orgy Set to take it up a Gear

Winx lit up the track at Flemington with a gallop that left many observers checking the calibration on their timekeeping devices after she ran the final 400 m of her preparatory gallop for Saturday’s Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000 m) in 21 flat.

There were questions afterward about whether the trackmen had time her accurately, to which Hugh Bowman responded, “That’d be right.“She had the ear muffs off and she was feeling really good in her action.”

That assessment is an ominous warning to the foolhardy set that will, as much as anything, run in the Turnbull to prevent Winx from running solo.

It should also serve as notice to punters, who may want to consider backing Winx while she is still $1.20.

Next closest is Humidor at $5.50. Perhaps word has not penetrated to New Zealand that there is a Sydney mare best avoided. No other is in single digits. Things may shift a bit once the final field is determined and the draw conducted, but it seems as though the only thing that can derail Winx at this time is if Bowman misses another jump, drops his stick, or something even more incomprehensible.

Flemington has other attractions on the card for the meeting. Three Group 2s, the Rose Of Kingston Stakes, the Edward Manifold Stakes and the Gilgai Stakes will offer various terms and conditions and the Group 3 Bart Cummings (2500 m) might reveal a stayer or two worth backing for the Melbourne Cup.

There will be some excellent racing at The Heath, as well. The Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000 m) will be a showcase for up and coming 3YOs.

The mid-month highlight, however, will be the Caulfield meeting on October 14.

Four Group 1s, the Caulfield Stakes, Caulfield Guineas, Thousand Guineas and Toorak Handicap will cause punters to raid their purses looking for funds to cover the biggest day of the spring carnival at Melbourne’s other track.

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