Winx to Resume Fittingly in Winx Stakes at Randwick August 18

Sorry, Sir John Monash Stakes, sorry, Bletchingly Stakes, sorry Caulfield racecourse.

We are already looking ahead to the 2018 – 2019 Australian Thoroughbred racing season, which launches in August with the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200 m), a weight-for-age race that represents the beginning of the spring racing season, if we can be forgiven for calling spring too soon. The race will be held on August 4 at Randwick.

The following week, Flemington stages the Group 3 Auries Star Handicap (1200 m).

Caulfield returns to action on August 18 and this is really the first meeting of the new season with multiple group races on tap, the Group 2 P B Lawrence Stakes (1400 m) and the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100 m) and the Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100 m).

Most eyes, however, will be on Randwick, where the first Group 1 of the season, the Warwick Stakes (1400 m), which will now be run as the Winx Stakes. Every indication is that Winx will resume for the race named in her honour and she will be going for her third consecutive win. She has been back at track work, so it would seem that the only thing that could stop her, as it did last year, is a Hugh Bowman suspension.

Given her past pattern under Chris Waller, she might run one other time before attempting to set a new mark with a fourth win in the Group 1 Cox Plate.

Bowman was on Winx for a recent session of exercise, after which Waller told Racing NSW, “Hughie pulled up well. Winx pulled up better. Her attitude and body language is great.”

Everyone can relax a bit if Winx wins the Her Stakes, pardon us, Winx Stakes. That will put her one clear of Black Caviar’s 25 consecutive. A win in the Cox Plate would make a nice exclamation point and most of the keener observers are predicting that to be her last race.

There is an outside chance with that milestone behind her, Waller could take her to England next year, something from which he demurred this June, but Winx’s connections might already be salivating at the prospect of the breeding fees she will command.

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