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There looks to be little value to be had in the 2017 George Main Stakes betting markets this weekend with the world’s best Winx lining-up at prohibitive odds to make it 20 wins on the trot.
Regardless of the price on offer for the superstar daughter of Street Cry, big bets are still being placed as the nation prepares to get behind Winx to win Saturday’s Group 1 $500,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick.
Like sprint star Black Caviar before her, Winx has an ‘X Factor’ that draws the crowds trackside to watch on as she continues to defy the history books.
It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the six-year-old this spring, with both of her wins seeing her overcome obstacles.
First-up she missed the jump in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and took the entire length of the straight to make up the five lengths and run down her smart stablemate Foxplay for the win.
Last time out on September 2 Winx was again doing the chasing, her and Hugh Bowman tracking Red Excitement over the closing stages before passing the frontrunner and nabbing a length victory in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).
Despite the close calls, Winx is now at $1.09 in the latest George Main Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, easing out slightly from the $1.08.
She is well in the red for a reason as she prepares to go back-to-back in the George Main Stakes for the first time since triple Cox Plate winner Kingston Town (1981-82).
Winx will also look to join Kingston Town on three straight Ladbrokes Cox Plate victories when she heads south on October 28 for the $3 million classic later this campaign.
In a bit of early luck, Winx drew the inside barrier for her George Main Stakes title defence on the weekend.
Barrier one last produced a George Main Stakes winner in 2014 when the also Waller-trained Sacred Falls got the job done as the hot favourite in a 10-horse field.
There are just eight runners in the mix on Saturday after Waller opted to scratch Tom Melbourne from the field in favour of a run in the Group 3 $150,000 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m).
Waller still has not only Winx and the aforementioned Group 1 winning grey Foxplay ($15) still in the mix, but will also be represented by roughie hopes Mackintosh ($61) and McCreery ($91).
Sydney’s top trainer, Waller has prepared four of the past five George Main Stakes winners and looks a good thing to add to that imposing record this season.
Along with Winx (2016), Bowman’s other winning ride in the race was aboard six-year-old Shoot Out for Waller in 2012.
The hoop is more than happy with where Winx is at this stage of her preparation after riding her in a solo track gallop on the course proper at Rosehill on Thursday morning, and said that the mare was ready to put to bed any rumours she wasn’t going as good as last campaign.
“I think she is going as well and she is a bigger horse and she is stronger,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“People may not understand that when watching a race but she missed the start five lengths first-up and I don’t think she could have done anymore at either start.
“I don’t get into the nitty gritty of all the data that Chris [Waller] would have available to him.
“I literally just go by feel and the only times I really get a gauge of where she is at is when I work her with company.
“That’s something that only happens a couple of gallops each preparation.
“She did gallop in company leading up to the Chelmsford Stakes and she indicated to me she is right on target.”
If Winx firms back into odds of $1.08 before jump time on Saturday, she will be starting at the shortest price of her career.
Back Winx in the George Main Stakes 2017 betting markets today through Ladbrokes.com.au.
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