Doncaster to Queen Elizabeth Back-Up Query for Winx

Ace hoop Hugh Bowman is confident of another Group 1 win this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival for superstar mare Winx, but he is unconvinced a quick back-up from the Doncaster Mile into the Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2016 will suit.


Five-time Group 1 winner Winx’s major autumn target is the 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on April 2. Photo: Steve Hart.

Bowman has ridden the champion Street Cry four-year-old to victory in her five most recent wins during her stunning eight-streak victorious streak.

The last two of those saw her take out the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) – Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) double to take her elite level tally up to five.

A winner of over $4.7 million in prize money to date, the options to see out Winx’s Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival remain open.

Post her one and a half length win over stablemate Kermadec in the weight-for-age George Ryder last weekend, Waller hinted at running her on back-to-back weekend’s in April at Royal Randwick during ‘The Championships’.

Twelve months ago Waller scored his fifth win in the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) with Kermadec, who followed on from the success of stablemate Sacred Falls (2013-14).

After a smart second in the George Ryder, the now four-year-old Teofilo stallion will look to emulate Sacred Falls and go back-to-back in the Doncaster Mile.

He carried just 51k to victory from a wide barrier 16 of 20 draw last year and is currently weighted 57kg for his title defence on April 2.

Kermadec is second favourite in futures Doncaster Mile betting at paying $6.

After Waller announced the Doncaster was also a possible option for Winx, the bookies are keeping her safe in betting at $2.50, the mare allocated 56.5kg for the classic over a distance she boasts three wins and a second from four starts over.

Winx’s major autumn aim meanwhile is seven days later on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’ in the season’s richest race, the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on April 9 over 400m further.

The Queen Elizabeth is run at weight-for-age and Waller has prepared two previous winners in My Kingdom Of Fife (2011) and Reliable Man (2013).

Just one mare has won the race since Dinky Flyer (1987) when More Joyous (2012) beat home the boys for trainer Gai Waterhouse.

Winx though is already odds-on for the win paying $1.60 in futures Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting with Bowman to ride shooting for his second win after success aboard Waller’s latest champion.

Bowman knows Winx well and believes her runs are better spaced, as proven in the spring, so is unsure about talks of going from the Doncaster into the Queen Elizabeth.

“There just doesn’t seem to be a bottom to her,” he told Racing Victoria this week fresh off his first Group 1 win outside of Australia in last Sunday’s Hong Kong Derby aboard the John Moore-trained Werther.

“The only question mark I’d have there, is her main target is the Queen Elizabeth, and they’re a week apart.

“In the spring, she ran in the Epsom, and then had three weeks to the Cox Plate.

“Up to date, her races have been spaced, we haven’t seen her back-up.

“Backing up from a Doncaster into the Queen Elizabeth is the only question mark I’d have.

“I’m not going to interfere with the programming, Chris [Waller] knows her well, he’s a master of identifying the right races for his horses. I’ll leave that to him.”

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