Several challengers for Winx in 2018 Queen Elizabeth Stakes

April 13, 2018

Several challengers for Winx in 2018 Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Jockey Hugh Bowman believes that there are several runners capable of challenging the mighty Winx as she attempts to make it back to back wins in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on day two of The Championships at Randwick on Saturday.

Winx, above, is the short priced favourite for the 2018 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Winx, above, is the short priced favourite for the 2018 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

The 2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes is included in Winx’s winning streak of twenty-four straight victories and another win this weekend will see her equal Black Caviar’s undefeated run of twenty-five straight wins.

Winx has dominated the Australian Turf over the last three years with three Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plates (2040m) at The Valley among her wins but regular partner Hugh Bowman said that a win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes will be meet with plenty of challengers.

“On form alone, it’s probably the hardest task she has had for quite some time and when I say that, I mean a couple of years — probably her first Cox Plate (2015),’’ Bowman told The Daily Telegraph.

“It is going to be one helluva race.’’

“Usually there is one main horse to be focused on as opposition, but this week there is three or four or maybe even five that are primed for their target.’’

“They are over a suitable distance and racing in the form of their lives.

Winx will be up against nine rivals in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes which includes Group 1 winners Happy Clapper, Gailo Chop and Humidor as well as international arrivals Ambitious from Japan now under the care off Anthony Freedman and Irish visitor Success Days.

The P at Webster trained Happy Clapper is backing up week to week after winning the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick last Saturday while French import Gailo Chop from the Darren Weir stable was a Group 1 winner two starts back in the $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.

Winx has had two Autumn Carnival runs to prepare her for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and after a stunning seven lengths first up win in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on March 3, the Chris Waller trained super star went on the claim her twenty-fourth successive win in the Group 1 $1m The Agency George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 24.

Bowman has been on Winx’s back several times in track work since her George Ryder Stakes win and can’t fault her in any way heading into Saturday’s weight for age contest.

“She’s in great order and I’m really happy with how she has come through the George Ryder win,” Bowman said.

“Her work here on Tuesday morning was absolutely outstanding.

“I enjoy the morning trackwork the most because it’s a time when it’s just me and her. I can feel all the power. I get to let her extend and there is no pressure.”

The outside barrier in the ten horse field won’t affect Winx’s chances as Bowman has the ability to place the mare wherever he likes throughout the race.

Even though Bowman thinks there might be some challengers in the race, bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au don’t agree and have Winx as the $1.16 favourite with the closest to her in the betting is Humidor at $12 ahead of his stablemate Gailo Chop at $15 and Happy Clapper at $17.

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