A good barrier draw will assist Champagne...
Despite her record-breaking Cox Plate title defence over 2040m last spring, trainer Chris Waller believes his historic mare Winx is actually at her best distance over a mile in the 2017 George Main Stakes on Saturday.
The Street Cry six-year-old has won 23 of her 29 career starts to date, including her past 19 on the trot after she chased down the leader Red Excitement to take out the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 2.
She returns to the track and distance third-up on Saturday in the Group 1 $500,000 George Main Stakes (1600m), which is her likely last Sydney run of the spring before heading south.
Winx will be at Moonee Valley on October 28 chasing her third consecutive win in the Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m).
She won Australasia’s weight-for-age championship for a second time last spring by a record eight lengths over Hartnell (2nd) and Yankee Rose (3rd).
The mighty mare is tracking ideally into the Cox Plate again and on Saturday defends her George Main Stakes title.
Run as the Colgate Optic White Stakes, the weight-for-age event sees Winx get out over a mile for the ninth time.
She has an outstanding record of seven wins and a second from her eight previous 1600m runs and Waller believes that it is where the $13 million earner is most comfortable.
“There is no issue staying at 1600m,” Waller told The Daily Telegraph.
“I think it is her best distance. She is a sprinter-miler that is very good at 2000m as well.”
Waller is also confident that Winx can put to bed any doubts she is not racing up to her usual brilliance this season, showing that her two tough runs haven’t taken too much out of her.
“I’m happy with the way she is going, she looks fantastic,” he said.
“Her recovery from both races has been great. She is a stronger horse now and actually put on three kilograms after her Chelmsford Stakes win last start.
“She had a bit of a blow after that win. Not too much but just enough to suggest she will naturally improve. Her coat is coming through, so I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Waller will keep the earmuffs on this weekend, which Winx donned for the first time in the Chelmsford Stakes after she missed the kick first-up when coming from last-to-first in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) without them.
The last back-to-back George Main Stakes winner was Kingston Town (1981-82), who is also the only triple Cox Plate champion in history.
To back Winx in the George Main Stakes 2017 and for access to futures Cox Plate odds on the mare visit Ladbrokes.com.au now.
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