Chris Waller’s history-making Cox Plate winner Winx has kicked off her autumn campaign targeting the Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2016 with an easy third in a Rosehill trial on Tuesday morning.
The four-year-old Street Cry mare made her first public appearance since her historical win in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last October in the opening hit-out on Tuesday morning.
She had an easy time in the 900m Group & Listed Trial won by the Hawkes Racing-trained BTC Cup third placegetter from last May Our Boy Malachi who showed he was ready to return after a bleeding attack in the Doomben 10,000 and subsequent surgery for colic.
Gerald Ryan’s last start Group 3 Summoned Stakes winning mare Solicit, another daughter of boom European sire Street Cry, was second behind seven-year-old Our Boy Malachi as she too looks at an autumn return.
Prior to her Cox Plate success Winx won the second of her now three Group 1 races in the Epsom Handicap over the Randwick mile, her first elite level victory posted at Doomben in May’s Queensland Oaks over 2200m.
Her record now sits at nine wins and three seconds from 15 starts for over $3.6 million in prize money, many experts labelling her as the benchmark racehorse in Australia heading into the autumn.
Waller is yet to confirm a first-up assignment for his stable star but she is on way to Sydney’s The Championships in April.
She is likely to run on Day 2, Saturday April 9, in the season’s richest race – the $4 million Group 1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
Sydney’s premier trainer over the past half a decade, Waller has saddled-up 15 Queen Elizabeth Stakes runners to date for two wins, two seconds and two thirds.
His maiden win in the classic was with the imported My Kingdom Of Fife who scored the upset Queen Elizabeth Stakes result in 2011 as a $12 shot after winning the Doncaster Mile Prelude as a 150/1 outsider the run before.
Reliable Man ($11) won two years later for the stable after his sixth in the George Ryder Stakes as a 50/1 outsider.
Futures Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds for this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival’s showpiece are already open at Ladbrokes.com.au with Winx the clear $4.60 favourite.
The other best fancied in all-in Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting at $11 each are Melbourne Cup third placegetter Criterion, Aidan O’Brien’s Irish raider Highland Reel and boom Kiwi galloper Mongolian Khan.
The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Sebring stallion Criterion was last running a luckless ninth in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) in December, his first run outside the top three at Sha Tin Racecourse.
Galileo stallion Highland Reel also ran at the Hong Kong International Race Day last month winning the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) on the back of a third to Winx in the Cox Plate.
Murray Baker’s star Holy Roman Emperor four-year-old Mongolian Khan enjoyed a stellar spring down under highlighted by his half-length win over the Ed Dunlop-trained French galloper Trip To Paris in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) over a mile and a half.
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