Veteran hoop Jim Byrne will chase a fourth...
Winx’s regular rider Hugh Bowman is very content with the mighty mare drawing barrier 8 in the 2018 Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Winx will line up against nine opponents in the Turnbull Stakes as she attempts to stretch her unbeaten winning record to twenty-eight and collect her twenty-first Group 1 trophy.
“I am really pleased with barrier eight. What I don’t want these days is an inside draw, one, two or three, I guess,” Bowman said.
“Barrier eight does set up well for us.”
Bowman rode Winx in a solid hit out on Monday morning on the course proper at Flemington and again on the steeple grass in an easier work out this morning and said she felt terrific.
“She was really relaxed this morning, which was great for me, a bit easier to control,” Bowman said.
“Her action is as good as ever and she is very content within herself and I am really looking forward to Saturday.”
“I would like to think she would have their measure, obviously.”
Trainer Chris Waller sent Winx out to work with her stablemate Invincibella on Monday morning and Bowman said the super star mare worked through her gears the same as she does on race day.
“I was very excited with her. She worked with Invincibella who was here early this morning with her as well. That is her little pal down here.”
“Invincibella sat about four or five lengths in front of me (on Monday) and I just held up to the last 250m and just let Winx go through her gears and she chased her down like she does when in a race.”
“She doesn’t work with company too often but with the three weeks in between races I think Chris just wanted to give her that competitive feeling.”
“She works pretty well on her own anyway but it just gives me a better idea how well she is going through her gears if I have a yard stick to judge it by.”
“Was very excited with how she went.”
“She feels a bit stronger to me and that has been the case all preparation. I would be very reluctant to say she is better because how could she be any better.”
“She is certainly stronger and better mentally. She has been very relaxed all preparation. It is ticking over nicely, the whole process.”
Winx has only raced at Flemington once for her win in the 2017 Turnbull Stakes and Bowman said that the big open spaces of Melbourne’s major track really suites her racing style.
“She comes down here in great order. The track is in magnificent order. She has galloped on the course proper here twice since she has been down here,” Bowman said.
“This track suites her style because she likes to pick up through her gears. She can run very fast and sustain high speeds. She likes to extend through her gears, not sprint off the mark and Flemington as a race course certainly sets up very well for horses that like to do that.”
Winx has cruised through her build up to the Turnbull Stakes with a first up win in the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 18 followed by a four lengths win in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White (George Main) Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 15.
The champion mare is on track to make it back to back wins in the Turnbull Stakes as well as attempting to win her fourth Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 27.
The world’s number one rated horse is set to rewrite the history books as she attempts to win four straight Cox Plates after equalling Kingston Town’s record of three straight wins with her third victory in the weight for age championship last year.
Winx is at her usual short price at $1.16 at Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Darren Weir trained Caulfield Cup favourite Kings Will Dream and Mick Price’s dual Group 1 winner Grunt who are sharing the second line of betting at $12.
Kings Will Dream has drawn the inside gate with Craig Williams in the saddle while Grunt will jump from beside Winx in barrier nine with Mark Zahra taking over from Damien Oliver.
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