Chris Waller’s returning mare Winx has unsurprisingly opened at an odds-on price to kick off her spring with a win in Saturday’s Warwick Stakes 2016 at Randwick Racecourse.
The six-time elite level winning daughter of Street Cry has scared off the bulk of her potential rivals in her first-up run in the $250,000 Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m).
The weight-for-age feature originally drew nine nominees, but Waller withdrew four-time Group 1 winning stablemate Preferment saving him for the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) over the mile back at the track on September 3.
The country’s highest-rated horse, Winx was last seen winning the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 2 by two lengths with Hugh Bowman in the saddle extending her wins to nine straight.
She is out to make it ten on the trot in the Warwick Stakes and has an imposing first-up record of four wins from five resuming runs to date.
While Waller kept quiet the mare’s minor post-Doncaster Mile win surgery, the bookies are taking no chances on the $6.67 million earner.
Winx sits top of the all-in, pre-field Warwick Stakes odds at $1.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au to enjoy her sixth win from nine runs at the Randwick track.
She was scheduled for a fast gallop on Tuesday morning with her regular rider Hugh Bowman in the saddle, Waller confident everything was on track for his star’s highly anticipated return.
“Hugh Bowman will ride her on Tuesday morning,” Waller told the media on Monday.
“She’s pretty right for Saturday and everything has gone smoothly.”
Three of her possible rivals are also under $10 for the win including the Kris Lees-trained Lucia Valentina ($5), another champion mare resuming for the season on Saturday.
The Savabeel six-year-old was last seen running away to win the lucrative $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 9 by over two lengths during ‘The Championships’.
That was her second win from nine runs at the course she is first-up over again on Saturday, the 2016 Cox Plate-bound mare also internationally performed having finished fifth in last December’s Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m).
The next best in futures Warwick Stakes betting ahead of the release of the field on Wednesday are the Gary Portelli-trained Rebel Dane ($7.50) coming off a Missile Stakes second and Lindsay Park’s fellow seven-year-old Dibayani ($8.50) who also ran second first-up last time out in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington a fortnight ago.
Godolphin’s imported six-year-old Hartnell is at $12 to post his first win since the 2015 The BMW, before Waller’s other three entries round out the markets.
Last October’s Spring Champion Stakes winner Vanbrugh ($18), Grand Marshal ($81) and Who Shot Thebarman ($81) complete Waller’s contingent with the latter two Sydney Cup and Melbourne Cup performers to improve over more metres later in the season.
“Grand Marshal and Who Shot Thebarman will follow a similar campaign to last year towards the staying races,” Waller said.
“Vanbrugh is also entered for the Show County Quality so we will look at what weight he gets in that.”
See below for the current Warwick Stakes 2016 betting markets, prices available online now at Ladbrokes.com.au!