Chris Waller is feeling less nervous about the upcoming spring return of his Cox Plate winning mare Winx who trialled nicely on Friday morning ahead of her first-up run in next month’s 2016 Warwick Stakes.
The daughter of Street Cry wasn’t asked to do too much in this morning’s 850m open trial at Randwick’s Kensington track, jockey Hugh Bowman guiding her to a cruisy fourth behind the John Sargent-trained Ramornie Handicap winner Smart Volatility.
Waller was pleased with the $6.67 million earner’s performance, her first public appearance since posting her sixth elite level win in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) in Sydney on April 2 during ‘The Championships’.
“She’s pulled up very well,” Waller told Racing Ahead after the trial.
“I think it’s good for all of us to get the nerves and twitches out of the system.
“We’ve come through this morning really well.”
Winx kicked off her spring bid last season with a Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) win at Rosehill and Sydney is again the preferred starting point for the rising four-year-old this year.
Waller has scheduled in a resuming run at Randwick Racecourse on August 20 in the $250,000 Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and said only a mud track would see a change of course.
“I’d be cautious over a Heavy 10 track or something like that and there’s always the Memsie the week later, but at this stage it’s our first preference,” he said.
The $500,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) runs at Caulfield in Melbourne a week after the Warwick Stakes.
Second-up Waller is looking at the $250,000 Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) back at Randwick for Winx who will have a final Sydney start in the $500,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) on September 17.
Her major assignment though is Moonee Valley’s $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 22, a race she won 12 months ago on the back of an Epsom Handicap victory.
Winx pays $2.80 to score back-to-back Cox Plate wins in the latest all-in odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Waller added that his mare’s versatility was one of her greatest assets and that it was easy to see why the punters were keen to get behind her in her runs.
“People often think she’s a backmarker, it’s mainly because she’s had wide barriers why she’s raced back in some of those races,” he said.
“As we saw in the Cox Plate, she’s pretty adaptable and I guess that’s one of her strong points.
“She’s very easy to ride, train and obviously to support on the betting front.”
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