Winx Scratched From Muddy Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes

Chris Waller’s decision to scratch Winx from the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes, if nothing else, prevented her from going head-to-head with Hartnell on a heavy Randwick track, and also saved her a lot of energy for a race, that quite frankly, seems below the grade of her calibre.

Eight-time winner Hartnell is a six-year0old gelding that has won five of his races on soft or heavy tracks and the other five he went against in the Chelmsford Stakes were so far behind that jockey James McDonald spent the bulk of the race looking over his shoulder to be sure the race had actually started when he did.

Waller made the decision to hold Winx out on the morning of the race.

Hartnell’s trainer John O’Shea seconded Waller’s decision, because it enabled him to save his horse as well. Second-placed Grand Marshal was nearly eight lengths behind, followed by Storm the Stars in third.

Winx has beaten Hartnell without much trouble in three earlier meetings, so it is reasonable to assume she could have again, but of her 20 wins, only three have come on tracks rated below good, so Waller scratched her in order to save her for the major spring races, including her upcoming defense of her 2015 Group 1 Cox Plate win.

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