Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller has billed his stellar mare Winx as “the new Black Caviar” ahead of the 2016 Cox Plate favourite’s first-up run in Sydney on Saturday.
On Thursday night Winx took out top honours claiming NSW Horse of The Year for her seven wins last season including the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m).
The six-time Group 1 winning daughter of Street Cry is heading towards a Cox Plate title defence at Moonee Valley Racecourse on October 22 and takes her first spring step on Saturday at home in Sydney.
The five-year-old is out to extend her winning streak to ten on the trot and Waller said he is feeling the pressure more than ever before.
“The public pressure is greater than any other horse I’ve trained,” he told Racing Victoria.
“It’s certainly a pleasure to be a part of her career but also important that we continue on with the winning sequence.
“She’s the new Black Caviar so to speak and she simply has to maintain that for another season or two to [reach] the heights of a Black Caviar.
Despite all the attention, Waller is supremely confident in his mare’s abilities and believes she will get the job done over her six Warwick Stakes rivals on the weekend.
“I’m really happy with her, the preparation has been faultless,” he said of the Magic Bloodstock-raced mare who has already won $6,678,425 in prize money over her 19 starts to date.
Waller isn’t sure just how much better Winx can get, but just hopes she can sustain her form and continue winning at elite level and breaking records.
“It’s very hard to say she can improve again – we just hope to sustain the level she’s been at,” he said.
“She’s beaten some very good horses, she set a track record in the Cox Plate down in Melbourne and obviously what she did in the Doncaster here in Sydney with a big weight was second to nothing really.
“If she could improve it would be very exciting for everybody.”
Bowman partners Winx for the 10th time having ridden her for seven of her nine latest wins and is also feeling the pressure to salute aboard the favourite.
“Obviously the expectations are for her to win again,” he said after putting her through her paces in a final Thursday morning hit-out ahead of the weekend.
“For me, the main thing is that she’s very fit and well … she’s forward enough to race at a high level.”
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