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While many rival trainers are on weather watch ahead of Golden Slipper Day on Saturday a wet Rosehill track is one thing Chris Waller knows super mare Winx will more than handle in her bid at a third straight George Ryder Stakes trophy.
Chances are that Rosehill be Heavy for the bumper Golden Slipper Day card on the weekend that includes the next-up run of the world’s best horse on turf, Street Cry six-year-old Winx.
She dually defends her title in the Group 1 $1 million George Ryder Stakes (1500m) after runaway wins in the weight-for-age autumn classic the last two years.
Twelve months ago saw a Heavy (10) and the doubters were talking up the possibility of the Winx fairy tale coming to an end.
The champion however did what champions do and silenced the critics emphatically with a seven length romp home over multiple Group 1 winners Le Romain (2nd) and Chautauqua (3rd).
She has now won her last 23 straight starts and is odds-on at $1.12 in the latest George Ryder Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au to keep the wins coming on Saturday.
“That’s the beauty of Winx, she is very adaptable to all conditions,” Waller told The Sydney Morning Herald this week.
“We’ve seen her run on lightning fast tracks, in heatwaves and the heaviest of tracks.”
Success will see Winx set a new world Group 1 flat racing record, the current 16-time Group 1 winner to surpass the 1980’s American champ John Henry.
Winx has officially been on Heavy going three times for three wins and she is five-from-six at Rosehill Gardens where jockey Hugh Bowman believes she races her best.
First-up after bypassing the Apollo Stakes due to the suspension of Bowman, Winx showed she was perhaps still peaking with telling seven length win over Prized Icon in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
“The way she has been since her first-up win indicates to me she going as well as ever,” Waller beamed.
Bowman agrees and is tipping Winx to repeat her 2016 George Ryder Stakes performance with another blowout winning margin from the queen of the turf.
“The way she is going at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her emulate that on the weekend,” he said.
Along with the back-to-back wins by Winx, Bowman has also ridden two other previous George Ryder Stakes winners with Court’s In Session (2005) and the Waller-trained Danleigh (2010).
Waller meanwhile has prepared a total of five George Ryder Stakes winners in the past eight years.
Bowman has partnered Winx for 22 victories so far and told the ABC the feeling never gets olds.
“It’s still exciting,” he said.
“It’s just that feeling of acceleration, and the atmosphere that’s created by her dominance.
“The speed and the power and the finesse. It’s just so special.
“I think we’re all really respectful of the position we’re in and ultimately of the horse. She’s just an amazing athlete.
“I’m just so grateful, I really am.”
To back Winx to win this weekend at the best George Ryder Stakes odds for 2018 visit Ladbrokes.com.au.
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