Winx Preparing for Warwick Stakes as Cox Plate Preparation Begins
Winx is back at Chris Waller’s operation in Rosehill to begin pre-training for her next campaign in the spring.
She is not, however, learning to run on three legs just to make it fair for the others who may find themselves lined up alongside her.
After two months of lolling about, the might mare has gained a bit of girth, but just about 5 kg, which to a horse that was already safely beyond 500 kg, it is barely noticeable and would not be were it not for the always-truthful scales.
Winx has been engaged in some light training, even though she has not been beaten in over two years. She is targeted to make her 2017 – 2018 Australian Thoroughbred Racing Season debut at Warwick Farm on August 19 in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes.
Waller has a careful strategy mapped out for Winx. The target, of course, is to bring her in for her defense of her Group 1 Cox Plate crown and have her win her third consecutive.
There have been some revisions to the weight-for-age racing program in Sydney, with the schedule yet to be firmed, but Waller will have options such as the George Main Stakes and the Hill Stakes in September, perhaps even the Craven Plate on October 14, which would still give Winx two weeks’ rest before her October 28 meeting with destiny at Moonee Valley.
Darren Beadman is looking for races for Hartnell that do not include Winx, unless he is looking for opportunities to finish second yet again, as he did in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick April past, or the Group 2 Apollo Stakes at that same course, or last year’s Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.
Can Winx be beaten? It will be interesting to see which horses show up to race her in the upcoming months, but unless there is some unknown dark horse lurking unseen in some obscure stables, the pack that has failed to better her in the past campaign can look forward to more of the same.