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Master Sydney-based horseman Chris Waller has confirmed Winx will race on in Sydney’s 2018 Queen Elizabeth Stakes should all go well this weekend in the George Ryder Stakes.
Punters are as keen as ever to hear the autumn racing plans for the world’s best mare Winx who has a shot at win number 24 on the trot at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday in the Group 1 $1 million George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
Odds-on at $1.10 in George Ryder Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au on the six-starter field, the six-year-old daughter of Street Cry dually defends her title in the weight-for-age feature on Golden Slipper Day.
Last time out she won her rescheduled first-up assignment by seven lengths in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and will likely face a Heavy Rosehill track on Saturday.
A wet course is a non-issue for the 16 time Group 1 champion who is three-from-three on heavy going and also boasts the same flawless record over the track / distance.
All going to plan and Winx will then be chasing a quarter-century of straight wins during The Championships at Randwick on April 14 with a title defence in the lucrative Group 1 $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
“Early on we mentioned if she was going to campaign in England, or Europe, that we might pull up [and give her a break] after the George Ryder, but I think it’s logical now to progress forward to the Queen Elizabeth in three weeks’ time,” Waller told Racing Victoria on Thursday.
“I’ll sit down with the owners after Saturday, and see how it fits in with the horse – the horse comes first, but the Longines Queen Elizabeth is certainly the target.”
Winx blitzed the George Ryder Stakes results last autumn with a barnstorming seven and a quarter-length win on a Heavy (10) track before a similarly impressive five length success in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes next-up.
“I remember this time last year we were questioning whether she’d be sharp enough to run against the better horses coming back in trip third-up that preparation, so I think she dispelled any doubt that year,” Waller explained.
“And I think this year having just the one run into the race, she’d be close to the best she could be over the shorter distance before stepping up to the Queen Elizabeth in three weeks’ time.
“She’s a very adaptable horse, she’s good fresh, she’s good in the last run of her preparation – there’s not many chinks in her armour.”
There is also a chance the $15.97 million earner will be England-bound for Royal Ascot this June, a decision Waller and the team are saving until after Saturday’s race.
The only foreseeable danger to Winx on Saturday is Godolphin’s Randwick Guineas winning three-year-old Lonhro colt Kementari, rated a $7.50 shot at the upset and an interesting rival according to Waller.
“Kementari’s the new kid on the block,” Waller said of the early 2018 Doncaster Mile favourite.
“He’s a three-year-old that’s been very impressive in his runs this preparation, so it’s good to see some form horses taking her on this Saturday.”
As for all-in Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds, Winx is already at a short $1.20.
Back Winx to win this weekend and next month at the best autumn racing odds online through Ladbrokes.com.au.
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