Winx Back to Work Waller Plans to Keep Her Options Open
After a little over a month in the paddock, Winx is returning from a spell to begin preparing for her autumn campaign.
Trainer Chris Waller, keeping to his routine of maintaining various routes for the horse that has sealed his fame, did not make many firm commitments, other than to say that Winx will stick to the pattern that has worked for the past two years.
He would not specify to the Herald Sun whether he would take Winx overseas to run in England. On the surface, to us at least, it would seem unnecessary until the Poms can field a horse on Australian turf that supplies some sort of challenge. Hartnell was not that horse.
Winx seems destined for the top of the list when the new rankings come out in January, where she should have been all along but for a spent mudder from the U.S. named Arrogate.
Waller did say that Winx would run the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400 m) in mid-February, and then proceed to the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600 m) at Warwick Farm at the beginning of March, followed by the George Ryder Stakes (1500 m) on March 24.
Waller admitted that he is considering two races at The Heath, the Orr Stakes and the Futurity Stakes, perhaps as a way to either keep his rival trainers guessing, or as an act of courtesy to let them know which races to avoid.
Assuming that she wins her first three starts, whatever those may be, she will be tied with Black Caviar with 25 consecutive wins, with the history making 26th being either the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick, or Waller might decide to take her England to run for the Queen.
We favour the other option Waller mentioned, which was to stop her after her first three runs and get her ready for another attempt at the Cox Plate in October of 2018.