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Trainer Chris Waller and the lucky connections of champion mare Winx aren’t the ones who will make the call on whether to head to England and Royal Ascot this season, a decision ultimately left up to the horse.
Waller told Racing NSW this week that it would be his stable ace and the world’s greatest racehorse on turf, Winx, who lets them know whether or not the international racing stage calls for her this campaign.
“I guess I’m waiting for Winx to make the decision, so I don’t have to make it,” he said.
Pressure is building for Waller to send Street Cry six-year-old Winx to the iconic Royal Ascot racing carnival in the UK in June for the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes (1600m).
It is a dream of the Kiwi expat turned leading Sydney trainer to be represented by Winx at an international level but as always Waller will put the horse first.
“She might tell us, yes, she is flying, she has to go. If she is not quite at the same level as she was last preparation, she shouldn’t go,” Waller said.
“I’m trying to let Winx answer the question, hence prolonging it and we will wait a few more races yet.
“We have to think about the negatives of travelling, which is a big concern.
“Obviously that is the reason we haven’t said, ‘Yes we are definitely going’.
“We respect and understand the importance of representing Australia and perhaps New Zealand.
“There are so many things to consider and we are considering them all.”
Winx races today first-up in Sydney’s Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick.
It is a weight-for-age autumn feature she has posted wins in for the past two years on the trot but this time she does not have the benefit of a lead-up run.
A mile first-up giving the fitness edge away would surely see the Winx odds extended?
Alas, the greatness of this turf queen has her safe as always with the latest Chipping Norton Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au listing her at $1.08 to make it 23 consecutive wins and 16 at Group 1 level.
Currently equal with Black Caviar on 15 Group 1 victories, Winx will surpass the Australian record with a victory today.
After today the autumn racing plans for Winx next race have her heading to Rosehill Gardens on Golden Slipper Day, March 24, for the Group 1 $1 million George Ryder Stakes (1500m) where she again dually defends her title.
From there the options remain open.
Punters may see her racing at Randwick on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’ aiming for another victory in the autumn’s richest race – the Group 1 $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
That run however is far from set in stone for Winx with the possibility of her bypassing the lucrative feature and instead heading straight to England.
All-in Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds however have Winx at $1.40 to run and win.
Should she go to Royal Ascot, Winx will be following in the footsteps of some incredible horses including the aforementioned Black Caviar who won the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee (1200m) narrowly in June of 2012.
To back Winx today at the best price and to enjoy access to all the top autumn racing odds and offers head to Ladbrokes.com.au.
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