The airborne Kelly Schweida-trained...
Chris Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth believes the Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2017 barrier three draw for their glamour mare Winx will allow the superstar to stay out of trouble and put her rivals to bed without a worry at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The Street Cry five-year-old hasn’t put a foot wrong in the past 24 months putting together one of racing’s greatest winning streaks.
This weekend on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’ the $10.4 million earner gets a shot at a seventeenth victory on the trot and there looks to be nothing that will stop her in the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
A final field of nine is engaged for the lucrative weight-for-age classic on Saturday and Winx was one of the big winners in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes barrier draw on Tuesday morning.
Connections were relieved to see the world’s best come up trumps with gate three despite history showing no Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner has jumped from that barrier since Lonhro (2003) and Grand Armee (2004) went back-to-back from the alley.
Duckworth however told The Daily Telegraph that their draw would allow for hoop Hugh Bowman to get the run of the race and “peel out” when ready before showing off her scintillating late finish.
“Her biggest hurdle is tactics rather than ability,” Duckworth said.
“Obviously we’ve seen in the past her ability should get her through to secure a decent victory, so Hugh’s main fear leading into it is obtaining a clear passage all the way from start to finish.
“If we drew barrier one it obviously heightens the chance of being caught in a pocket but Winx should be able to get a lovely run just in behind the speed.
“Hopefully Hugh can peel out as and when he is ready.”
The race fans and punters are already coming for Winx in Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au as she has firmed in from $1.10 to prohibitive odds of $1.09.
She rounds out her autumn campaign in the race and is deserving off her short price according to Duckworth who put in a “brilliant” piece of work on Tuesday morning.
“Her work (this) morning was brilliant,” he said.
“She wasn’t asked too much and Rosehill copped a fairly healthy dump of rain overnight but she just galloped over 1000m quickening up the last 400m and Hugh and Chris were both rapt.
“It certainly looked like great work to me.”
Winx was last seen posting an incredible seven and a quarter-length win, while being eased late by Bowman, on a Heavy (10) Rosehill track in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
Her 2000m record stands at three-from-four and includes dual Cox Plate victories.
For most horses a run like the George Ryder Stakes would have seen them peak, but Duckworth knows that Waller will have Winx primed for her grand final on the weekend.
“Chris is very meticulous with the training of Winx, as he is with all of our horses, but this is her grand final and this is when she is primed and peaking,” he said.
“She is absolutely where we need her to be and hopefully she will be exactly where we need her to be come Saturday evening.”
The only other runners under $10 in the latest Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds are regular rival Hartnell ($11) in barrier one who has faced Winx six times for six defeats and last year’s third placegetter Happy Clapper ($19) backing-up from his second Doncaster Mile second.
To back Winx to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2017 at the right price head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.
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