Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
Following her record eight length Cox Plate win at the Valley on Saturday, trainer Chris Waller admitted he is considering a back-up for the world’s number one racehorse Winx into the Emirates Stakes 2016.
Run and won on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday November 5, this year’s $2 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) is the weight-for-age classic formerly known as the Mackinnon Stakes and run a week earlier.
The Australasian WFA championship the Cox Plate has long been the key Emirates Stakes form race to follow, and the fact it is now run seven days later should only increase the number of horses running in both features.
But will that include the champion Street Cry mare Winx?
Over the weekend she proved a freak on the track, charging away from a quality Cox Plate field that included Hartnell (2nd) and French raider Vadamos (4th) by a minimum eight lengths.
It was a record winning Cox Plate margin and the fact that Winx was having just her third Melbourne start and was defending her title in the major made it even more impressive.
The five-year-old has now won 17 of her 23 career starts, including her past 13 on the trot and nine Group 1s, to amass over $9.3 million in prize money.
That puts her third in Australia’s all-time leading prizemoney earners behind only Makybe Diva ($14,526,690) and Sunline ($11,351,610).
Her current winning streak of 13 on the trot has her in seventh position in that record department, led by the undefeated Black Caviar who bowed out with a flawless 25 from 25 record.
Black Caviar also sits number one with Group 1 wins by a mare with 15, followed by Sunline (13) and now Winx (9) who on Saturday surpassed the likes of More Joyous (8), Makybe Diva (7) and Emancipation (7).
It is an incredible record and one her in-awe trainer Waller hinted she could look to add to in the Emirates Stakes.
Seven of the past ten Emirates (Mackinnon) Stakes winners backed up from a Cox Plate run, including six in the past seven years.
The double has been achieved just once since Better Loosen Up (1990) however with So You Think (2010) six years ago.
So You Think (2009-10) was also the last dual Cox Plate winner before Winx, who became the 13th multiple champion of the classic in history.
She has been up this prep since late August and Waller has always said a five race spring campaign was the plan.
That plan was originally to conclude with the Cox Plate run, but the historical victory on Saturday came at her fourth run this time in as she missed the Chelmsford Stakes due to a wet track earlier in the season.
That opens it up for her to go around again in the Emirates Stakes, although Waller is yet to confirm or deny plans to do so with the mare most likely to join Kingston Town (1980-82) as the only triple Cox Plate champion.
Waller said he and connections will make a decision on the Emirates Stakes by the end of the week, but that Winx had pulled up a treat on Sunday.
“The grand final was yesterday and it’s not just about a one or two week lead-up,” he told The Guardian on Sunday.
“The whole preparation has been geared toward yesterday, so later in the week we’ll have a quick think about it.”
Part-owner Peter Tighe said he would love to see Winx attempt a 14th straight win in the Emirates Stakes, but that the final call would be left up to Waller.
“”It’s hard not to look at that race after she won so easily yesterday. It’s a difficult decision for Chris but not for me,” he said.
“He’ll assess that and whatever is in the best interests of the horse. If he thinks she needs to go out, she’ll definitely go out.”
To back Winx next race and access the best Melbourne Cup Carnival odds head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.
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