Emerging star Pierata (Pierro-November Flight, by Flying Spur) will make his first public appearance this preparation when he barrier trials over 800 metres at Warwick Farm on Friday, reports racing.com. Trainer Greg Hickman has confirmed plans to run the Magic Millions Guineas winner against Winx in the eponymously named Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on 18 August, before hopefully securing a slot in the $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 14 October. The 3YO, who was last seen finishing runner-up to Kementari in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas on 10 March, will launch his spring campaign in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on 4 August. "He's a very good horse this horse. Hopefully everyone gets to see what I know he can do," said Hickman. "All the early signs are good. We've had a few slot holders knocking on the door but I've just got to make sure he's right because I don't want to be wasting their money." Hickman said he is bringing Pierata along slowly after he had six weeks in the paddock. "He came back from his spell in good shape and he'll run first-up in the Missile Stakes, which is only a month away," said Hickman. "It depends on what he does in the Missile, as to what we do with him. It was supposed to be the Missile and the Winx and then have a look at The Everest."
Trainer Tony McEvoy has provided an update on the progress of high-class colt Royal Symphony who continues to recover from injury. The dual stakes winner suffered a leg injury during last year's Group 1 Cox Plate in which the son of Aquis Farm stallion Domesday finished a gallant fourth behind superstar Winx. "He strained a suspensory ligament. It wasn't a severe one. There are degrees of seriousness and his was on the better side, but because he is the pin-up horse of my stable I really needed to make sure that I did everything possible to get him sound as we can," McEvoy told Sky Sports Radio. "This is an injury that horses do recover completely from, provided that they heal well and you give them the time. He's doing a lot of trotting and swimming at the moment and the latest scan, which was done a few days ago, was absolutely fantastic. The horse is progressing really well." McEvoy said Royal Symphony should be back in time for the autumn.
Queensland Derby winner Dark Dream will be aimed at the $5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in the spring, reports racing.com. Trainer Kerry Parker is unsure at this stage where the 3YO will launch his spring campaign, but says there is one horse he is keen to avoid. "He will go anywhere Winx isn't," said Parker. "I just don't want him getting beaten up by her. He doesn't need that so we might look to go through the back door towards the Caulfield Cup rather than the traditional weight-for-age path." Parker is expecting Dark Dream to take another developmental leap in the spring. "He was a baby when we sent him to Queensland and he certainly matured while up there. That will hold him in good stead come the spring when he goes to Melbourne," he said. "I don't think he'll have a long prep in the spring. He'll commence with residual fitness courtesy of a long prep that ended in the winter." Dark Dream (All American-Buchanan Girl, by Lion Hunter) is rated a $26 chance with TAB for the Caulfield Cup.
Trainer Pat Webster has indicated that top class galloper Happy Clapper may race exclusively in Melbourne during the spring if fails to secure a slot in $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on 13 October. Webster said he is leaving any negotiations with Everest slot-holders to owner Michael Thomas. There are currently seven slots still available with five of the 12 spots already locked in. "I told him [Thomas] unless he has anything definite not to worry me. We talk regularly but he hasn't mentioned it so I presume nothing is in concrete," Webster told racingnsw.com.au. "They talk about this horse and that horse and you have the sixth best horse in the world nobody is even talking about." Webster added: "If he doesn't get a slot we'll go to Melbourne. Webster said if Happy Clapper does gain a start in The Everest, he would prepare the horse so he goes into the world's richest turf race nice and fresh. "He's started to do a bit of pacework. Even if he got a run in the Everest he'd have a trial, he might have two, then an ease up and another two trials." Happy Clapper, who is about three weeks away from his first trial, enjoyed a stellar autumn campaign in which he claimed two Group 1 victories in the Canterbury Stakes & Doncaster Handicap, as well as Group 1 placings in the George Ryder Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes - both behind superstar mare Winx.
High class Melbourne colt Royal Symphony has been ruled out of the spring carnival and won't be seen until the autumn, reports racenet. Trainer Tony McEvoy has revealed that the dual stakes winner is currently undergoing stem cell therapy to treat a suspensory ligament injury which was likely sustained during last year's Group 1 Cox Plate. The son of Aquis Farm stallion Domesday showed he wasn't far off Australia's best gallopers when running a gallant fourth behind superstar Winx in Australia's premier weight-for-age contest. "He tore a suspensory ligament and because it has taken a while to heal we are not going to worry about the spring. Royal Symphony is a slow healer and it is not progressing as quickly as we would have liked," said McEvoy. "We saw the problem in the next bit of work he did after the Cox Plate but the chances are he may have done it in the Cox Plate." McEvoy added: "We have tried some stem cell stuff and he's been doing a lot of rehab on a treadmill and a lot of swimming and a few other things. His last scan was promising but spring will be too soon for him and he won't be seen until the autumn."
Godolphin trainer James Cummings has provided an update on the spring preparation of star colt Kementari. The 3YO Lonhro colt proved himself to be one of the best milers in Australia when winning the Group 1 Randwick Guineas(1600m) and finishing third behind Winx in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) in the autumn. "He's filled out beautifully and looks to have matured nicely into his preparation. He's a beautiful looking horse, Cummings told Sky Racing. "We will get a little more serious with him in the next month and look to see him resume in early August."
Trainer Gary Portelli is hoping that former star filly She Will Reign (Manhattan Rain-Courgette, by Charge Forward) can stretch her brilliance out over further distances in the Spring. Portelli says the Group 1 Golden Slipper & Group 1 Moir Stakes winner has matured physically during her break, which he feels will aid her when she races beyond six furlongs for the very first time. The rising 4YO is expected to launch her Spring campaign in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on 5 August, before a possible tilt at the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on 19 August. "She's a good horse first-up and we'll have her ready for the Missile and whether we go to the Winx over 1400m in a fortnight or stick to keeping her fresh we're not sure," Portelli told racingnsw.com.au. "She's changed shape again. She's a longer, leaner and taller looking horse than before. She's longer through the barrel, leaner through the flank and has a different type of muscle tone. The way she races she's lost that crazy speed she had as a young horse." Portelli added: "If a horse's shape changes you have to think something else has to change. We have to listen to her, I'm hoping she's telling us she wants further and not that she's slowed down."
The Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) has issued its first round of invitations to thirteen of the world's best weight-for-age horses to compete in the 2018 Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on 27 October. Invitees for the 98th running of the Cox Plate, which recently had its prize money increased to $5 million, include horses from five separate jurisdictions and ten of the world's leading racing stables. However, the thirteen hand-picked equine stars will face an imposing task trying to stop the world's best racehorse, Winx, from creating history when she bids for an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate win in the Spring. "With the recent $2 million prize money injection to our great race for the first time since 2002, we are confident we can entice horses on the world stage to compete at The Valley in what is now the richest Group 1 turf race at 2000 metres in the world," said Michael Browell, Moonee Valley Racing Club CEO. "Working with the MVRC Committee and Paul Bloodworth and the team at Racing Victoria, we have identified what we believe to be the best Weight-for-Age horses and we hope they are keen to take on Winx and create a brilliant spectacle." The thirteen invitees are:
Winx, the world's best racehorse, has begun pre-training and is set to return to the stable of trainer Chris Waller in about four weeks, reports AAP. The superstar mare, who recorded her 18th Group 1 victory and equalled Black Caviar's record of 25 consecutive wins when strolling to a commanding win in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes in April, is being aimed at an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate victory in the Spring. She is likely to kick off her historic campaign in the eponymous Group 1 Winx Stakes (previously Warwick Stakes) at Royal Randwick on 18 August. "It will come around faster than you think," Waller said.
Exciting colt Pierata (Pierro-November Flight, by Flying Spur) is expected to launch his spring campaign in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on 4 August. The 3YO, who was last seen finishing runner-up to Kementari in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas on 10 March, will then run in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) two weeks later in the hope of catching the eye of Everest slot holders. The $13 million The Everest (1200m) - the world's richest turf race - will be run at Royal Randwick on 14 October. "If he runs well in his first two runs they'll be chasing us (for a slot) and if he doesn't we'll go the another way," trainer Greg Hickman told Racing NSW. "He'll have the same preparation as when we went to the Gold Coast. Two trials and he'll be ready to go first-up." Hickman added: "I don't know how good he is and which way to go. I can do anything I want with him if I want to but it's all about making him into a stallion."
At Doomben racecourse in Brisbane, Coolmore's deceased dual Derby-winning shuttler & 6-time Gr1 victor High Chaparral (Sadler's Wells-Kasora, by Dashaan) celebrated an elite race success when 3YO Australian-bred filly Youngstar (High Chaparral-Starspangled, by Danehill) overcame a wide run and showed great spirit to fight back and win the $500,000 Gr1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) for 3YO fillies, defeating stable-mate Another Dollar & Sheezdashing. Trainer Chris Waller praised Youngstar's fighting qualities after she endured a tough run in the race. "She's gone from a perfect spot one off the fence then shunted three and four wide," he told Sky Racing. "They took off very early and she needed all of her qualities to come back on the line." Waller said Youngstar may now bid for dual Classic honours in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Doomben on 9 June. "It's a good idea having it two weeks apart. One week for fillies is a bit hard. We weren't tempted to back Winx up but it's something to think about," he said. Youngstar, who hails from the family of English, Irish & Yorkshire Oaks heroine User Friendly, improved her record to 4 wins (including the Gr2 Magic Millions The Roses) and 1 placing from 7 starts for $478,562 in earnings. She was purchased by Anton Koolman Bloodstock for $200,000 at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Young-based nursery Bowness Stud.
If the market is any guide, Saturday's $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Doomben is shaping as a three-horse contest. The favourite for the 2018 edition of the race is the Chris Waller-trained Youngstar. The daughter of High Chaparral has shown a plenty of raw ability to date, culminating in her impressive last-start victory in the traditional Oaks lead-up, the Group 2 The Roses (2000m) on 12 May. TAB currently have Youngstar (barrier 4) listed as the $2.80 favourite, ahead of stable-mate Another Dollar (barrier 2) at $5, and last season's Thousand Guineas winner Aloisia (barrier 7) at $7. All other runners are at double figure odds. The exciting Youngster looks to be open to more improvement than her rivals and is likely to prove too strong once again. First run in 1951, the 3YO fillies Classic has been won by some champion fillies and broodmares including celebrated blue hen Denise's Joy (1976), Surround (1977), Lowan Star (1980), November Rain (1981), Bravery (1988), Triscay (1991), Slight Chance (1993), Giovana (2000), Ethereal (2001), and of course the world's best racehorse, Winx (2015).
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Doomben on Saturday. First run in 1951, the 3YO fillies Classic has been won by some champion fillies and broodmares including celebrated blue hen Denise's Joy (1976), Surround (1977), Lowan Star (1980), November Rain (1981), Bravery (1988), Triscay (1991), Slight Chance (1993), Giovana (2000), Ethereal (2001), and of course the world's best racehorse, Winx (2015). The favourite for the 2018 edition of the race is the Chris Waller-trained Youngstar. The daughter of High Chaparral has shown a high degree of potential to date, culminating in her impressive last-start victory in the traditional Oaks lead-up, the Group 2 The Roses (2000m) on 12 May. TAB currently have Youngstar (barrier 4) listed as the $2.70 favourite, ahead of stable-mate Another Dollar (barrier 2) at $5.50, and last season's Thousand Guineas winner Aloisia (barrier 7) at $7. All other runners are at double figure odds.
Talented Kiwi stayer Chocante has been sent to the paddock due to injury, reports NZ racing Desk. "He bowed a tendon in Brisbane, unfortunately, and he's back here now spelling," said trainer Stephen Marsh. The injury was discovered after Chocante's unplaced effort in the Listed Tails Stakes (1600m) at Doomben last month. "It leaves a hole losing two of your top-rated horses – Thee Auld Floozie has retired and now Chocante has gone amiss," added Marsh. Chocante (Shocking) has a Gr3 Counties Cup (2100m) to his credit and last season claimed top honours in the Gr2 Brisbane Cup (2200m). He also embarked on a successful Australian campaign in the spring where he was placed behind champion mare Winx in the Gr2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and Foundry in the Gr1 The Metropolitan (2400m) in Sydney.
Boulder City, an unraced 3YO brother to the world's best racehorse Winx, has been retired to stand at Russell and Caroline Osborne's Riverbank Farm in Victoria. The of Snitzel and Vegas Showgirl was in training with Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott but recurring issues precipitated his early retirement to stud. Boulder City was not surprisingly a highly valuable colt with Waterhouse and Julian Blaxland going to $2.3 million to purchase him at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Segenhoe Stud (as agent). "The decision to retire Boulder City to stud before commencing his racing career was a very difficult one," said Russell Osborne. "He has had a number of minor issues that were becoming harder to manage and after the devastating loss of his full brother the owners decided to meet the market demand and offer him at stud." Osborne added: "Everyone involved would dearly loved to have seen him get to the race track and have the opportunity to emulate his big sister - however we believe offering his superior bloodlines to the breeding industry is a great thing for breeders." Boulder City will stand at a fee of $5,500 this spring.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $650,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) to be run at Doomben racecourse in Brisbane this Saturday. A field of 13 horses has accepted for the weight-for-age middle-distance feature. First run in 1933, the Doomben Cup has been won by horses of the calibre of champion Bernborough (1946), Winfreux (1966), Rough Habit (1991-93), Durbridge (1994), Danewin (1995), Juggler (1996), Might And Power (1998), and Intergaze (1999). This year the $4.40 TAB favourite for the race is the Japanese import Ambitious who is set to benefit from a huge drop in class after his last-start eighth to champion Winx in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in Sydney on 14 April. Next in the market is the Gr2 Hollindale Stakes winner Oregon's Day at $5, ahead of another Japanese import in Satono Rasen at $5.50, and Comin' Through and Tom Melbourne at $9.50. All other runners are available at double figure odds. Click below to view field and barriers.
Allen & Unwin has announced that it will publish a book about champion Australian racehorse Winx titled 'WINX: Greatest of all Racehorses' in collaboration with the mare's trainer Chris Waller and owners Debbie Kepitis, Richard Treweeke and Peter & Patty Tighe. The book will be written by Andrew Rule, bestselling biographer, passionate racing fan, winner of the Gold Walkley and the coveted Graham Perkin Award. "Winx is in the rare air shared by giants - Ali, Bradman, Secretariat and few others," said Rule. "Her rise has been hailed in headlines and superlatives in the heat of competition but, until now, no one has had full access to the people who know her best. Only her owners, her breeder, her trainer and her rider can tell the real story behind Australia's greatest racehorse, the Phar Lap of our time." The book will be published on 29 October 2018.
The Anthony Freedman yard are bullish about the chances of Japanese import Ambitious claiming his maiden Group 1 success in Saturday's Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane. Ambitious (Deep Impact) faces a huge class drop after his last-start performance when eighth behind Winx in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in Sydney when nothing went right for him in the run. He had previously shown his class when finishing an unlucky second to Almandin in the Gr1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Randwick. "We certainly think he's got a very good chance of winning a race like this," Freedman's racing manager Brad Taylor told racing.com. "We put him in the QE thinking he was a good chance after his run in the Tancred, but he didn't get all favours - he lost three shoes in running in the QE, which doesn't help any horses." Taylor added: "If everything goes to plan on Saturday, he should be a big chance. He'll certainly get his chance to win a Group 1 in Australia."
Multiple Group 1-winning galloper Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) is set to return to the stable of Pat Webster in a few weeks time to begin preparations for his Spring campaign, reports racenet. The 7YO is enjoying a break following a stellar autumn campaign in which he claimed two Group 1 victories in the Canterbury Stakes & Doncaster Handicap, as well as Group 1 placings in the George Ryder Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes - both behind superstar mare Winx. Webster said owner Michael Thomas would sit down soon and map out a Spring programme for Happy Clapper which could take in races such as The Everest and Group 1 Winx Stakes (formerly known as the Warwick Stakes). "At the end of the day we've got about four weeks before he starts working up for the spring so we've got time up our sleeve," said Webster. If Happy Clapper fails to gain a slot in The Everest, Webster said it is possible he could campaign exclusively in Melbourne. "The Winx Stakes [in Sydney] would be the perfect start point if we go the weight-for-age route but that all depends on her. If she's there, Clapper won't be," said Webster. "There's so many races in Melbourne for him during the spring - the Memsie, Makybe Diva, Underwood, Turnbull, Caulfield Stakes and obviously the Cox Plate and Emirates. Michael will work all that out when the decisions need to be made."
The Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (HTBA) held its 27th annual awards to recognise and celebrate the achievements of its champion thoroughbreds at Scone last night. Over 400 industry leaders, clients, supporters and VIPs attended the event, which showcases the best champion thoroughbreds and industry participants across all fields and categories. "As the second largest concentration of studs in the world, and Australia’s premier thoroughbred breeding industry, the breadth and depth of talent of our people and the success of our equine athletes is world renowned. We are very proud and privileged to recognise their achievements at tonight’s Annual Awards," said HTBA President, Dr Cameron Collins. The winners of the equine categories were:
The Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association (HTBA) has announced the nominees for its 27th Annual Awards Night to be held at Australia's Horse Capital in Scone on Wednesday 9 May. The nominees from the major categories are:
Trainer Anthony Freedman says Queensland's weather will determine whether or not talented Japanese import Ambitious makes an appearance over the winter carnival. Freedman is keen to run the son of Deep Impact in the Gr1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on 19 May provided the track is not rain affected. Freedman says Ambitious' last start performance when eighth behind Winx in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) should be ignored when nothing went right for him in the run. He had previously shown his class when finishing an unlucky second to Almandin in the Gr1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Randwick. "He's been up there about a week," Freedman told racing.com. "I was really happy with the way he came through the Queen Elizabeth. He lost shoes and it all went terribly wrong the other day but he's still in good shape and the plan is certainly to head towards the Doomben Cup." Freedman added: "If we get wet tracks he certainly won't run. He'll just take a break up there but if we get the right track, he'll certainly be running."
Comprising almost 1,000 lots, the catalogue for the 2018 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale is now online. The auction will present a spectacular line up of breeding prospects – from race fillies and top young breeding prospects to proven Gr1 producers. "We are overwhelmed with the support that the vendors of Australasia have given the sale again this year," Magic Millions managing director Barry Bowditch said. "There will be so many opportunities for buyers across all levels of the market. This sale has produced so many elite results for both vendors and buyers – the dams of current day stars Winx, Trapeze Artist, Estijaab, Levendi, Shoals and Hiyaam were all purchased here providing buyers with immediate returns on investment." A supplementary catalogue is currently in production and will be released next month. To view the online catalogue for the 2018 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale click here. The catalogue is also available for download on the Equineline iPad app. Hard copies of the catalogue will be posted early May.
Chris Waller says Winx will enjoy a couple of days relaxing before heading for a break following her historic Queen Elizabeth Stakes victory on Saturday. The superstar mare, who must surely now be acknowledged as the world's best racehorse, created history on several fronts when strolling to an outstanding win in the $4 million showpiece. Chief among her numerous milestones were recording and 18th Group 1 win and equalling Black Caviar's record of 25 consecutive wins. With connections having ruled out a trip to England for Royal Ascot, focus now turns to a potential tilt at an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate victory for the great mare. "She'll be in the stables for a couple of days and wind down before heading to the spelling farm," Waller told Melbourne's Radio Sport National. As for Winx's Spring campaign, Waller said no plans had been made. "We'll just take one run at a time. We haven't said anything about where she's heading or what she's doing," he said. "If she's racing well and the Cox Plate is in front of her she'll run, but if I'm not happy with her the day before a Cox Plate she won't run."
On day two of The Championships at Royal Randwick, Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy) celebrated an elite race success when his champion 6YO daughter Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) created history on several fronts when strolling to an outstanding last-to-first win in the showpiece event of The Championships - the weight-for-age $4 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) - defeating Gailo Chop & Happy Clapper. The victory, which not only saw Winx equal Black Caviar's record of 25 straight wins but also become the first mare to win successive Queen Elizabeth's, advanced her record to an astonishing 29 wins (including the Gr1 Cox Plate – three times, Gr1 George Ryder Stakes - three times, Gr1 Turnbull Stakes, Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Gr1 Caulfield Stakes, Gr1 George Main Stakes - twice, Gr1 Doncaster Mile, Gr1 Chipping Norton Stakes – three times, Gr1 Epsom Handicap, Gr1 Queensland Oaks, Gr2 Chelmsford Stakes, Gr2 Warwick Stakes – twice, Gr2 Apollo Stakes - twice, Gr2 Theo Marks Stakes, Gr2 Phar Lap Stakes & Gr2 Furious Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Australian Oaks & Gr1 Flight Stakes) from 35 starts for Australian record earnings of $18,998,425. Trainer Chris Waller was in awe of Winx's accomplishment, saying she was not only a superior racehorse but that she excels under pressure. "It's hard to find the right words but that was very special, there was an arrogance about it," Waller told the Daily Telegraph. "She keeps lifting for the big occasions. Winx is a very dominant horse under pressure. It's only in those pressure scenarios that we see the best from her." As for Hugh Bowman, the Dunedoo-born jockey said he was just honoured to be a part of the Winx story. "The bottom line is she's got 10 to 12 lengths on her rivals, it makes it easy for me," Bowman said. "I know I've got the engine to round them up. She's just an exceptional athlete. I'm just so elated, I'm so proud of her and I'm just so proud to be a part of it." Winx was a $230,000 Magic Bloodstock purchase at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Coolmore Stud.
Winx's wonderful milestones:
Unforgotten became the fourth consecutive NZ Bloodstock graduate to win the time-honoured Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday. The sequence began in 2015 when Gust of Wind (Darci Brahma), a $90,000 Premier Sale purchase, beat subsequent superstar mare Winx to claim the race. Gust Of Wind is the last horse to defeat Winx who has now won 25 races in succession. The $65,000 Select Sale buy Sofia Rosa (Makfi) followed in 2016, then Bonneval (Makfi) last year. Bought for $150,000 at the 2015 Premier Sale, Bonneval was crowned New Zealand's Horse of the Year for 2016-17. Champion ex-pat New Zealand trainer Chris Waller secured Unforgotten for $360,000 at the 2016 Premier Sale, and the filly was quick to show promise with four wins from her first seven starts including the Gr2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) in mid-March. Unforgotten was bred by Roncon and was offered by Curraghmore at the 2016 Premier Sale. Raced by Waller, Magic Bloodstock Racing, Mr F W Cook, Mrs C M Cook, Mr N A Greenhalgh, Mrs M T Greenhalgh, Mr R Shrimpton, Mrs C Shrimpton, Mr I Bruce, Mr R Smith, Mr P Y W Ng, Mr K H Warriner, Mr J T C Lake and Mr B L Mathieson, Unforgotten has now won five of her nine starts for $1,095,520 in earnings.
On day two of The Championships at Royal Randwick, deceased former White Robe Lodge stallion Yamanin Vital (Sir Tristram-She Might Hula, by Caucasus) celebrated an elite race success when 9YO New Zealand-bred gelding Who Shot Thebarman (Yamanin Vital-Ears Carol, by Carolingian) turned back the clock to produce a sterling performance and win the $2 million Gr1 Sydney Cup (3200m) for 3YO+, defeating Zacada & Sir Charles Road. Who Shot Thebarman, who is owned by New Zealand-based siblings Dan, Humphrey, Michael and Shaun O'Leary, improved his record to 11 wins (including the Gr1 Auckland Cup, Gr2 Zipping Classic, Gr2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup & Gr2 Avondale Cup) and 11 placings (including the Gr1 Melbourne Cup & Gr1 Sydney Cup) from 51 starts for $4,655,586 in earnings. "He's been such a frustrating horse because he's run so many great seconds and thirds in Sydney Cups and Melbourne Cups," trainer Chris Waller said of the evergreen stayer. "He's given us one hell of a ride. He's nine years old and if Winx is not a pretty good advertisement on how to look after a horse I think Thebarman takes the cake. That's the best he's looked today as a nine-year-old." There was drama before the race when Japanese raider Prestwick was a late withdrawal due to veterinary advice.
Hugh Bowman says Winx will face her toughest challenge in years when she lines up in tomorrow's $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick. "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 [since] her first Cox Plate. It's going to be one hell of a race and all we want it a smooth passage," Bowman told Racing NSW. "Usually there is one main horse to be focused on but this week there is three or four or maybe even five that are primed for their target." He added: "If Gailo Chop is allowed to control things to his liking he will take some running down. If the pressure is right on he might be feeling the pinch from the 200-300m mark but if that's the case a horse like Humidor or Ambitious, who I thought was very impressive in the Tancred Stakes, will be capitalising on the genuine pace...the bottom line is that there are horses there, no matter how the race is run, that are going to perform very, very well." However, despite the healthy respect he has for the opposition, Bowman has absolute faith in Winx. "She's in great order and I'm really happy with how she has come through the George Ryder win. Her work here on Tuesday morning was absolutely outstanding," he said. Winx will attempt to equal Black Caviar's record of 25 consecutive victories and claim her 18th Group 1 title in the Queen Elizabeth. The Chris Waller-trained superstar already holds the world record for most number of Group 1 victories which stands at 17 after her win in the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill on 24 March.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the showpiece event of The Championships, the weight-for-age $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) to be run at Royal Randwick this Saturday. First run in 1851 as the Queen's Plate, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes has been won by champion Australian racehorses including Carbine (1889-91), Wakeful (1901), Phar Lap (1930), Peter Pan (1933), Flight (1946), Tulloch (1960 & 61), Ming Dynasty (1978), Rough Habit (1992), Veandercross (1993), Might And Power (1998), Lonhro (2003), Grand Armee (2004 & 05), and of course Winx (2017). Headlining this year's 10-horse field is the world's best horse Winx who will attempt to equal Black Caviar's record of 25 consecutive victories and claim her 18th Group 1 title. The Chris Waller-trained superstar set a new world record of 17 Group 1 victories (surpassing US champion John Henry) when landing the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill on 24 March. Winx has drawn the outside gate (10) for the Queen Elizabeth but bookmakers are unperturbed, with the mighty mare a $1.15 chance with TAB to continue on her inexorable path to greatness. Unsurprisingly, all other runners are at double figure odds with Humidor next preferred in the market at $11, followed by Happy Clapper and Gailo Chop at $13.
Trainer Stephen McKee is under no illusions about taking on Winx in Saturday's $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick with Kiwi mare Consensus, reports NZ Racing Desk. "I don't see it as running against Winx. I see it as the $755,000 [prize money] for running second," McKee said. "Gailo Chop and all the other good ones will be there, but the breakdown of prize-money is great and the track should be good, which will suit our mare." A winner of last year's Gr1 Zabeel Classic (2000m), Consensus has been in good form this season recording a runner-up finish in the Gr1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m), a fourth in the Gr1 Zabeel Classic, and most recently a second behind Devise in the Gr1 WFA Classic (1600m) at Hastings. "She's got a lot of black type so she's really got nothing left to prove at home," McKee said. Most recently, the 6YO finished a respectable fourth behind Almandin in the Gr1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill in her first Australian appearance. "She came through the race well and she had a nice hit-out this morning with Jason Collett on board," McKee said. "This race fits in well for the mare before she goes to Brisbane." Consensus' primary winter target is the Gr1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on 19 May.
At Royal Randwick on day one of The Championships, Darley's unbeaten European Champion juvenile & dual Gr1-winning shuttler Teofilo (Galileo-Speirbhean, by Danehill) celebrated an elite race success when 7YO Australian-bred gelding Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) showed his superiority when scoring a comfortable 2 length win in Australia's premier mile handicap, the $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Comin' Through & Arbeitsam. This was the third top-flight success for Happy Clapper who advanced his record to 11 wins (including the Gr1 Canterbury Stakes, Gr1 Epsom Handicap, Gr2 Tramway Stakes, Gr2 ATC Villiers Stakes) & Gr3 Newmarket Handicap) and 12 placings (including the Gr1 George Ryder Stakes, Gr1 VRC Emirates Stakes, Gr1 George Main Stakes, Gr1 ATC Doncaster Handicap – twice & Gr1 ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes) from 34 starts for $5,945,050 in earnings. Winning trainer Pat Webster said the Doncaster was the one race he always wanted to win when he was growing up. "You can have your Golden Slippers and you can have your Cox Plates but when we were kids The Doncaster was always the race we wanted to win. I watched my first Doncaster from the Leger when Tobin Bronze won in 1967," Webster told Sky Racing. "I grew up here and this is the race I've always wanted to win. It's a dream." Jockey Blake Shinn commented: "That is amazing. I have just won a Doncaster," he said. "To win a Doncaster and put my name in the history books with this horse who deserves it is very special." Happy Clapper became just the tenth horse in history to claim the Epsom & Doncaster double, joining the likes of Winx, Super Impose and Gunsynd. Happy Clapper also earned himself an automatic entry in the Gr1 Breeders' Cup Mile at the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Kentucky on November 2-3.
Winx looked a picture of health when stepping out in an exhibition gallop at Royal Randwick on Saturday. The superstar mare covered the 1000 metres in 1:02.19s with a final 600m in 34.26s. The hit-out was in preparation for her final autumn appearance in Saturday's $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick. Both trainer Chris Waller and Winx's regular rider Hugh Bowman were happy with the work. "She makes it look like it was dead-set three quarter pace and was only just getting into her stride," said Waller. "Today was the most she has done in the past few weeks. Next week she'll have one more piece of work to keep her nice and sharp." Bowman commented: "She is fresh and ready to go. When she knew I was about to slip her a bit of leather she really took advantage of it and worked home really quickly. She enjoyed the work and so did I."
The opening day of The Championships has been hailed an outstanding success with close to 20,000 patrons enjoying Day 1 of the prestigious carnival featuring four Group 1 events at Royal Randwick, reports racingnsw.com.au. "The racing was world-class and we could not have wished for a better opening day to The Championships," said Racing NSW’s Chief Executive Officer, Peter V’landys. "It augurs well for next Saturday’s second day when we can come out to Royal Randwick and witness the world’s best racehorse, Winx, in action competing in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes." Australian Turf Club Chairman, Laurie Macri, said: "Day One of The Championships has provided top class racing on a fantastic Royal Randwick surface. Since its inception in 2014, The Championships has gone from strength to strength." The Championships continue at Royal Randwick on Saturday 14 April when superstar mare Winx will be looking to equal Black Caviar’s record of 25 consecutive wins in the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
Racing fans have been provided with an added incentive to attend the opening day of The Championships with news that Winx will take part in an exhibition gallop at Royal Randwick on Saturday. The champion mare will gallop over 1000 metres following the running of race one at 11:30am. Winx, who set a new world record of 17 Group 1 victories when landing the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill two weeks ago, is set to make her final autumn appearance in the $4 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on 14 April.
Royal Randwick will host the opening day of The Championships tomorrow which will feature the running of four Group 1 races and more than $10 million in prize money. The ten race program is headlined by the time honoured $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile, the $2.5 million Gr1 Darley TJ Smith Stakes, $2 million Gr1 Australian Derby, and the $1 million Gr1 Inglis Sires'. Patrons will also be able to see champion mare Winx participate in an exhibition gallop following race one as she prepares for her final autumn appearance in the $4 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday week. The Royal Randwick track was rated a Good 4 on Thursday morning. The first race on Saturday is at 11.30am and last race at 5.10pm. Gates open at 10.15am. Click here to view the fields for Royal Randwick.
The $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile is the showpiece event on the opening day of The Championships at Royal Randwick tomorrow. First run way back in 1866 (Dundee was the inaugural winner), the Doncaster has since established itself as Australia's premier mile handicap having been won by turf luminaries such as Wakeful (1901), Chatham (1934), Tobin Bronze (1967, Gunsynd (1972), Emancipation (1983), Super Impose (1990 & 91), Sunline (1999), Grand Armee (2000), More Joyous (2012), and Winx (2016). Australian racing's First Lady, Gai Waterhouse, will be striving to become the most successful trainer in Doncaster history when she chases her eighth winner with Arbeitsam. Waterhouse currently shares the Doncaster record of 7 winners with her legendary father TJ Smith. Chris Waller is another trainer looking to build upon his successful Doncaster record. Exciting 3YO colt D'Argento is Waller's best chance of training a record equalling seventh Doncaster winner following the victories of Triple Honour (2008), Rangirangdoo (2010), Sacred Falls (2013 & 14), Kermadec (2015), and Winx (2016). This year's race is shaping as a cracking renewal with Godolphin's star 3YO colt Kementari the current pre-post favourite at $3.80 with TAB. Next in the market is the ultra-consistent Happy Clapper at $5, followed by D'Argento at $7.50 and dual Gr1 winner Humidor at $9. The Doncaster Mile will be run as race 9 at 4:30pm.
A glowing report from a Group One-winning jockey has boosted trainer Stephen Marsh's confidence ahead of another Australian campaign for talented Kiwi stayer Chocante, reports NZ Racing Desk. "Troy Harris rode him in a trial at Taupo before the horse went to Sydney last year and he rode him again at Cambridge the other day and said he felt as good, if not better this time around," Marsh said. Last seen finishing eighth in the Gr1 Captain Cook Stakes in December, Chocante had embarked on a successful Australian campaign in the spring where he was placed behind champion mare Winx in the Gr2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and Foundry in the Gr1 The Metropolitan (2400m) in Sydney. The son of Shocking is now set for a return to the Queensland winter carnival where he won last year's Gr2 Brisbane Cup (2200m). "He's going to run in the open handicap over 1400m on Saturday and then he'll go over to Brisbane," Marsh said. "He's coming up really well and while we wouldn't be expecting him to win at Te Aroha, he'll give a little bit of cheek at some stage of the race." Chocante will open his Australian campaign in the Listed Tails Stakes (1600m) at Doomben on 21 April. His primary target is the Gr1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on 19 May.
Trainer James Cummings says the signs are positive that star colt Kementari can round out his 3YO season with a win in Saturday's $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick. Cummings says Kementari is now ready to peak after four runs this time in, which have included a maiden Gr1 success in the Randwick Guineas (1600m) on 10 March and an excellent third behind Winx and Happy Clapper in the Gr1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) two weeks ago. "We'd been impressed to see the change in the horse leading into the George Ryder and after racing so well against Winx he seems to have come out of it with more energy," Cummings told Godolphin.com. "He's certainly looking like he's still on the rise which is perfect considering what he did at this track and distance in the Randwick Guineas two starts back." Cummings added: "We feel like we're going to see a big performance from him and for us, it's very exciting to saddle up a colt of his calibre in such a prestigious race. He gives a real sense of this being his grand final." Kementari, who will carry just 51.5kg on Saturday, is currently the $3.70 TAB favourite for the race ahead of Happy Clapper ($5) and fellow 3YO D'Argento ($7).
Trainer Pat Webster expressed his delight after Happy Clapper drew perfectly for Saturday's Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick, but he is conscious of the weight advantage he must concede to his chief market rival Kementari. Happy Clapper, who will jump from barrier one in the $3 million feature, is considered a top contender for the major prize having finished runner-up to champion mare Winx in the Gr1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) two weeks ago. However, under the handicap conditions of the race, the 7YO must overcome a 3kg turnaround in favour of Kementari who finished so close to him (3rd, beaten 0.75 length) in the Ryder. "We drew two last year and finished second, so from one this time we should be winning," Webster joked when speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald. "People who say barriers don't count are mad. I would take barrier one in a steeplechase. It is the fastest way home." Webster added: "I don't know how Clapper can beat him [Kementari] at the weights but the old fella doesn't know how to run a bad run over the Randwick mile." Happy Clapper will be hoping it is third time lucky having finished runner-up in the Doncaster in the past two runnings of the race. Kementari is currently the $3.70 TAB favourite for the race ahead of Happy Clapper ($5) and fellow 3YO D'Argento ($7).
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) to be run at Royal Randwick this Saturday. First run way back in 1966 (Dundee was the inaugural winner), the Doncaster has since established itself as Australia's premier mile handicap having been won by turf luminaries such as Wakeful (1901), Chatham (1934), Tobin Bronze (1967, Gunsynd (1972), Emancipation (1983), Super Impose (1990 & 91), Sunline (1999), Grand Armee (2000), More Joyous (2012), and Winx (2016). This year's race is shaping as a cracking renewal with Godolphin's star 3YO colt Kementari the current pre-post favourite at $3.50 with TAB. Next in the market is the ultra-consistent Happy Clapper at $5, followed by the untapped 3YO D'Argento at $7 and dual Gr1 winner Humidor at $8. The Doncaster Mile will be run as race 9 on day one of The Championships at Royal Randwick at 4:30pm.
Winx will be staying home with connections deciding against campaigning the champion mare on the international stage. "Following lengthy discussions between the owners, Hugh Bowman and I, it has been decided that Winx win will remain in Australia following the Queen Elizabeth Stakes...and not embark on an international campaign," trainer Chris Waller said in a release. "When contemplating a decision on her future there were a diverse range of matters to be considered, from wellbeing risks associated with travel to seasonal changes her hormones may undertake. As her trainer, it is my responsibility to continue to carefully manage her career as it enters the twilight phase." Waller continued: "Winx has nothing to prove to anyone. She is and always will be regarded as a legend of the turf and it is champions like her that make up the fabric of this great sport." Waller said the decision was made in the interest of prolonging Winx's career which is set to include an attempt to become the first horse in history to win four Cox Plates. "This is the best way to get her racing a little bit longer. It is our plan to continue to race her into the spring," he said.
Trainer Chris Waller has hinted that a decision regarding an international campaign for champion Winx is imminent. Winx, who set a new world record of 17 Group 1 victories in Saturday's George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill, is set to make her next appearance in the $4 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on 14 April. In the meantime, racing fans around the world are holding their collective breath while her connections discuss whether or not to embark on an overseas campaign aimed at Royal Ascot in June. "Obviously we know when it is [Royal Ascot] and what the races are in Europe but today was very important to see her come back and be fairly dominant," Waller told the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday. "It's onwards to the Queen Elizabeth in three weeks time. It's the signature race in Sydney which we were never really going to miss." He added: "We've got to talk about coming back if she went to Europe and race in her fourth Cox Plate. She can only really go there for one run, possibly two, but we've got to put all the cards on the table. We'll speak to the owners and have a check on the horse as well."
At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy) celebrated an elite race success when his 6YO champion daughter Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) broke the world record for the most number of Group 1 wins with her 24th consecutive victory in the $1 million Gr1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) for 3YO+, defeating Happy Clapper & Kementari. Not only did Winx become the first horse in history to win three George Ryder's, but she also claimed the outright world record for the most number of Group 1 wins, with her 17th Group 1 title surpassing the previous benchmark set by US champion John Henry in 1984. The win advanced Winx's astonishing record to 28 wins (including the Gr1 Cox Plate – three times, Gr1 Turnbull Stakes, Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Gr1 Caulfield Stakes, Gr1 George Main Stakes - twice, Gr1 Doncaster Mile, Gr1 George Ryder Stakes - twice, Gr1 Chipping Norton Stakes – three times, Gr1 Epsom Handicap, Gr1 Queensland Oaks, Gr2 Chelmsford Stakes, Gr2 Warwick Stakes – twice, Gr2 Apollo Stakes - twice, Gr2 Theo Marks Stakes, Gr2 Phar Lap Stakes & Gr2 Furious Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Australian Oaks & Gr1 Flight Stakes) from 34 starts for $16,563,925 in earnings. Trainer Chris Waller commented: "It's pretty special, I try not to get too caught up in it," said Waller, "I like everybody else who is a racing or sporting tragic have to be pretty proud of her today." Winx's regular rider Hugh Bowman said: "I could feel the crowd erupt as we went to the front at the 200 metres. What a special, special horse she is and I'm just so grateful to be her jockey." Bowman added: "Each horse is an individual but this horse has captivated the attention of the world." Winx is set to make her next appearance in the $4 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on day two of The Championships (14 April). Connections will also decide in the coming days whether or not to embark on an overseas campaign aimed at Royal Ascot in June.
Magic Millions graduate Winx stands alone as the most winning Group 1 flat racehorse in history after she stretched her group race streak to 24 in Saturday's Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill. History was made across the board, with the superstar mare becoming the first horse to win three George Ryder Stakes titles and surpassing American champion John Henry as the most successful flat galloper of all time with 17 Group One victories. Winx's world record 17 Group 1 victories are:
Superstar mare Winx headlines a field of eleven horses nominated for Saturday's Gr1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill. The George Ryder is shaping as an intriguing race with the likes of star colt Kementari, dual Gr1 winner Happy Clapper, and Winx's highly promising younger stable-mate D'Argento set to contest the $1 million weight-for-age feature. The Chris Waller-trained Winx surpassed Black Caviar in setting a new Australian record of 16 Group 1 victories when she opened her autumn campaign with an effortless 7 length win in the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick two weeks ago. She will be chasing her 24th consecutive victory in the George Ryder, after which connections will decide whether or not to embark on an international campaign aimed at Royal Ascot. Click here to view Rosehill nominations.
At Flemington in Melbourne, unbeaten European Champion juvenile & dual Gr1-winning Darley shuttler Teofilo (Galileo-Speirbhean, by Danehill) celebrated a group success when 5YO gelding Humidor (Teofilo-Zalika, by Zabeel) scored by 0.5-length for trainer Darren Weir in the $200,000 Gr2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) for 3YOs+, defeating fellow 5YO gelding Cool Chap & 7YO gelding Hellova Street. With a field of just five to face the starter, the general consensus of opinion was that the event woud be fought out by Humidor, considered a track and distance specialist, and his imported Japanese-bred stablemate Tosen Stardom. The latter started to shorten stride a long way out and slipped from prominence before Humidor surged from the rear to score a solid win, albeit given a fright by unwanted Cool Chap and plucky Tasmanian galloper Hellova Street. Boasting a beautiful damline, NZ-bred Humidor took his record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes, Gr1 Australian Cup & Gr3 Manawatu Classic) & 9 placings (including the Gr1 Cox Plate, Gr1 Livermol Classic, Gr1 Turnbull Stakes, Gr2 TS Carlyon Cup & Gr2 Peter Young Stakes) from 24 starts for $2,604,415 earnings. According to news.com.au, Humidor will now proceed to Royal Randwick's Gr1 Doncaster Mile in twelve days time before a potential clash with Winx in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) during The Championships.
Champion mare Winx will be given an exhibition gallop over 1000m following the running of race one at Rosehill on Saturday. The Chris Waller-trained superstar surpassed Black Caviar in setting a new Australian record of 16 Group 1 victories when she opened her autumn campaign with an effortless 7 length win in the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick two weeks ago. Winx, who has now won 23 races in succession, is scheduled to run in the Gr1 George Main Stakes on Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill on 24 March.
At Randwick in Sydney, Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy) celebrated an elite race success when his 6YO champion daughter Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) sauntered to the line 7-lengths clear for trainer Chris Waller in the $600,000 weight-for-age Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), defeating 4YO entire Prized Icon & 5YO gelding Classic Uniform. Having her first start since winning a record equalling Gr1 Cox Plate last October, Australian racing's queen was allowed to lope along near the rear by regular pilot Hugh Bowman. Sooled into the race turning towards the business end of the mile, where she ambled up like a Bentley on a Sunday outing with Bowman relaxed at the wheel, Winx effortlessly raised the bar by establishing a new Australian record of 16 Gr1 victories en-route to winning 23 straight. Having broken Black Caviar's Gr1 win record with her third Chipping Norton Stakes achievement, the mighty mare appears to have the Sydney autumn, and possibly English racing at her mercy. Her next start is expected to be in the Gr1 George Ryder Stakes, where she is on track for another Gr1 feature race treble. "It's always a concern to see how horses come back. To see her come back like this is pretty special," said Waller, whose emotion was clear to see. "She's getting the imagination of Australia. It's a great way to portray our sport." Now the winner of 27 of her 33 starts, with record southern hemisphere earnings of just under $16 million, Winx's new record of 16 Gr1s, all while undefeated, comprises the:
At Flemington in Melbourne, Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy) made it a state stakes sire double (following the incredible win if Winx) when 6YO gelding Nozomi (Street Cry-Rose of Danehill, by) saluted in the $150,000 Gr3 TAB Multiplier Autumn Handicap (1400m) over Violate & Cool Chap. Nozomi, a half-brother to Gr2 Mooney Valley Classic winner Kazanluk (Red Ransom) from Danehill's multiple Gr2-winning daughter Rose Of Danehill took his record to 6 wins (including the Listed Geelong Classic) and 5 placings (including the Gr1 Victoria Derby) from 28 starts for $533,720 in earnings. Ebullient trainer Anthony Freedman revealed, "He's a lovely old horse. He's a stable favourite. He had a good spring without winning so we'll push on to maybe The Blamey and maybe the Easter Cup." He added, "He always works well. He's a good track worker and he looks magnificent."
Meanwhile, trainer Chris Waller says tomorrow's Gr1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick is the "perfect starting point" for Winx at this stage of her career, reports racingnsw.com.au. "Everything we have tried she has done with distinction whether it be 1100 metres in her first career start or right through to 2200 metres when she won the Queensland Oaks. She really is an amazing athlete," Waller said. "Everything has gone to plan and we wouldn't change anything in any way." He added: "She is a lot easier horse to train now than when she was four. With age she has matured and become strong. She copes with her racing and training better and is handling it better mentally. There are so many positive signs that she is just as well now as she has ever been." Winx has not raced since October when she created history by joining the legendary Kingston Town as the only horse to win three Cox Plates. She also surpassed three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva to become the greatest prize money earner in Australian racing history.