A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
The next-up options for glamour mare Winx who made history with her third Ladbrokes Cox Plate victory on the weekend remain open, including a possible fourth run in the Australasian weight-for-age championship in 2018.
Over the weekend the Chris Waller-trained Winx emulated the great Kingston Town (1980-81), becoming just the second horse in history to enjoy a Cox Plate three-peat.
Odds-on favourite in her third Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m), Winx gave the punters a scare with Humidor presenting a genuine challenge over the final 50m.
Now Australia’s all-time highest earning racehorse, Winx did what great champions do however and accepted the challenge, rising late to charge over the line and into the history books with her second Cox Plate race record time in three years.
Already talks of where to next for Winx are circulating, including the possibility Waller and connections bring the now 15-time Group 1 winner back to The Valley in 2018 looking to defend her Cox Plate title in a fourth running.
All-in 2018 Cox Plate odds are already open at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au with Winx $3.50 to win.
Winx pulled through her gutsy victory on the unsuitably firm Moonee Valley track in excellent order according to Waller, who is yet to confirm future racing plans for his stable ace.
The six-year-old daughter of Street Cry was at Altona Beach on Sunday morning looking the picture of health.
“Remarkably well. She’s very bright; she’s just got back from the beach this morning,” Waller told RSN yesterday when asked how Winx had pulled-up.
“Jo Taylor and the staff said she’s fantastic, so that was music to my ears.
“It’s more important about that than any other part of the weekend.
“She’s an amazing athlete, and firstly, that helps her race so well, and secondly, it helps her recover so quickly as well.”
There is a chance Winx could race as soon as November 11 on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington in the Group 1 $2 million Emirates Stakes (2000m).
A winner of 22 straight starts after the 2017 Cox Plate results, Winx is also now proven at Flemington having blitzed the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) by six and a half-lengths two back in her debut at Headquarters.
That gave her four lead-up runs into the Cox Plate, a program Waller remains happy with.
“No I don’t think [it was harder with four lead-in runs]. I don’t think we could’ve done it with any less [than four lead-up races],” he said.
“She’s that little bit harder to get fit and maintain that fitness, because she’s an older, more mature horse.
“She’s a lot stronger – as a rough guide, her first Cox Plate she was 505kg, her second Cox Plate she was 515kg, and yesterday she was about 526kg.
“She certainly needed that extra run. I don’t know if there is a right way to train Winx or not, but one thing I’ll tell you is she’ll rise to any challenge you give her.
“We’ve just got to make sure that challenge isn’t a breaking point.”
Overseas racing options for the world-class mare also remain open with the likes of Royal Ascot 2018 in England being discussed.
“Whether she has another run this prep, when she goes overseas – if she goes overseas – it’ll all unfold and be pretty obvious I would say,” Waller said.
To back Winx next race wherever she heads at the right price, visit Ladbrokes.com.au!
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