Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
Champion race mare Winx is ready to kick off her fourth Ladbrokes Cox Plate campaign after producing an eye catching barrier trial at Rosehill today.
Winx is the winner of her last twenty-five starts and included in that string of wins are three victories in the Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley.
A win in the 2018 Cox Plate on October 27 will give Winx four consecutive years as the weight for age champion and surely will be a record that will stand for a very long time, if not forever.
Winx equalled the legendary Kingston Town’s record of three straight Cox Plate victories when she beat the Darren Weir trained Humidor in the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
The Chris Waller trained Winx was having her second barrier trial this preparation and after being the last to leave the barriers, jockey Hugh Bowman let the mare settle near the tail of the ten horse field in the early stages before making a forward move coming to the home turn.
Bowman lengthened the reins half way down the straight and Winx was able to slide in between runners to run into third place behind Alizee and Ace High in the 1000m trial on the Rosehill course proper.
Winx is now ready to resume for the 2018 Spring Carnival in the race that has been renamed in her honour, the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 18.
The Winx Stakes will be Winx’s first outing since winning her twenty-fifth straight victory in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 14 on day two of The Championships with her main Spring goal being a fourth consecutive win in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
Bowman was on board Winx when she ran seventh in her first trial this preparation and was on top again last Saturday when she stretched her legs in between races at Randwick and described today’s trial as the champion mare’s best to date.
“She felt as good as she looked. I am sure it looked pretty good. I would suggest that was as good as she has ever trialled,” Bowman said.
“I was very impressed with her. I asked her to do a little bit more than I did in the first trial.”
“She was more relaxed this morning than she was in her first trial and I think that was a result of going to the races for her exhibition gallop on Saturday.”
“For me it is the right direction that some of that nervous energy has left her body and she is ready for the races now.”
“She is in a good spot and I am very excited about her return in a couple of weeks time.”
Bowman was not concerned that Winx was a little slow to leave the barriers but did admit he would like her to jump cleanly on race day.
“She was a little bit bouncy in the stalls. I put her in a bit earlier this morning because I just wanted to make sure she was standing there because if she draws in for her first race she is going to be the first one in the gates. I wanted to put her in and make her stand for a little while but she just bobbed up as they opened.”
“It is not what I want to happen race day but it doesn’t concern me because it is not out of character for her.”
Pre-post betting for the 2018 Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au has Winx as the $1.55 favourite, well ahead of her nearest rival in the market order, Humidor at $15.
35 starts, 29 wins, 3 seconds, 0 thirds.
18 Group 1 wins.
Total prizemoney earnings: $18,998,424
Early betting for the 2018 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.55 Winx, $15 Humidor, $21 Benbatl, $26 Gailo Chop, $31 D’Agento, Happy Clapper, Grunt, Roaring Lion, Unforgotten, Kementari, Youngstar, Johannes Vermeer, $41 Accidental Agent, Poetic Dream, Poet’s Word, Youngstar $51 or better the rest.
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