Australia’s top mare Winx could race all the way to the new-look 2016 Emirates Stakes during the Melbourne Cup Carnival so long as Chris Waller gives her a few soft runs earlier in the spring.
Waller has mapped out a spring preparation that he said would “shelter” his superstar daughter of Street Cry to ensure she gets the longevity out of this campaign.
Her major aim is of course a title defence in the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse on October 22, a race she made recent history winning last season.
Last Saturday the now five-year-old notched her 10th straight win with a dominant first-up success in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
That easy three and a half-length win saw her already short all-in price in Cox Plate markets at Ladbrokes.com.au firm into $2.50.
Having already amassed six elite level victories and over $6.8 million in career prize money over her 20 starts, Waller will keep her in Group 2 company second-up.
He has scheduled her to run the $250,000 Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 3 before returning to the track and distance a fortnight later in the $500,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m).
From there Winx heads south for the first time this season to tackle the $600,000 Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 8 and then the 2016 Cox Plate.
“Because there’s four races before the Cox Plate, I’m not that keen on taking on all the guns every start and the program I’ve set for her would shelter her a little, which we’re entitled to do,” Waller told Racing Ahead on RSN 927.
“That would see her run in the Chelmsford, which is another Group 2 – obviously there’d be other Group 1 horses in that race – and then the George Main, which is a Group 1 after that, and then Caulfield Stakes and then onto the Cox Plate.
Of the five races, she’s going to be running in three Group 1s and two Group 2s and the softer we are on her in terms of placing her right, the further she gets in terms of maybe a run in the Mackinnon [Emirates Stakes] at the end of the Carnival.”
Formerly the Mackinnon Stakes held on Victoria Derby Day, this year the $2 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) is contested over more metres and closes the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington on November 5.
Waller confirmed Winx had pulled-up well after the cruisy Warwick Stakes victory and everything was right on track.
“She pulled up very well, which is just as exciting as the run,” he said.
To back Winx next race and access the best prices on the wonder mare over the coming months make sure you’ve got an account open at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $500 first time depositors’ bonus (excluding NSW) with use of the code BETBONUS (T&Cs apply).