Chris Waller’s defending champion and early Cox Plate 2016 favourite Winx is set to trial at Randwick this Friday before kicking off her spring campaign next month.
The history-making Street Cry mare is engaged in an 850m open trial at Randwick’s Kensington track at the end of the week and will line-up against the likes of the John O’Shea-trained The BMW champ Hartnell, the fellow Godolphin-raced Magic Hurricane and last start Ramornie Handicap winner Smart Volatility.
It will be the first official public appearance by the rising five-year-old since Winx posted her ninth consecutive win at Royal Randwick on April 2 in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) during Sydney’s ‘The Championships’.
The Doncaster win was her third Group 1 success on the trot following earlier wins in the Chipping Norton Stakes and George Ryder Stakes, and her sixth elite level win overall.
Her most famous turf triumph to date came last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival when she made history with her Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) victory at Moonee Valley.
The $3 million weight-for-age championship is scheduled for October 22 this season and is again on the agenda for Winx who is the dominant $2.80 favourite in early Cox Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au already.
She is down to return to racing in Sydney first however with Waller nominating the $250,000 Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 20 for her first-up assignment following two lead-up trials.
“Her preparation has gone faultlessly so far, if it is possible to say she has come back bigger and stronger,” Waller said of the $6.67 million earner speaking to Racing Victoria this week.
“She doesn’t need to come back better we just have to hope she gets back to that same form, which shouldn’t be a problem at all.
“She has grown taller and has put on weight yet doesn’t look too big in condition in terms of weight gain.”
Following the Warwick Stakes Waller has a further to Sydney runs on the spring schedule for his stable star in the $250,000 Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) on September 3 and $500,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) a fortnight later both at Randwick before her trip south.
Waller has dominated recent George Main Stakes results preparing three of the past four winners of the mile feature with Shoot Out (2012), Sacred Falls (2014) and most recently Kermadec (2015) last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.
The last mare to win the race meanwhile fell between Waller’s winners with Streama (2013) prepared by the late Guy Walter.
There is also a chance Winx will have a lead-up Victorian run leading up to her Cox Plate title defence in a race like the $600,000 Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 8.
The last Cox Plate winner to come off a Caulfield Stakes run the start before was Ocean Park who completed the double in 2012.
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