Winx heads to Melbourne before a likely date with the Queen next year
|Winx heads to Melbourne before a likely date with the Queen next year - 21st Sep 2017|
Winx heads to Melbourne before a likely date with the Queen next year|
Champion mare Winx will continue her quest for a third Cox Plate in Melbourne but she could have a June date with the Queen next year in the race Black Caviar won at Royal Ascot.
Chris Waller announced on Wednesday that Winx, who has a 20-race winning streak, will have her next run in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington on October 7, but he also has plans for an overseas campaign next year.
"The Turnbull just works well as it is three weeks after her George Main Stakes win and then three weeks to the Cox Plate, which is our main goal," Waller said.
It finishes her Sydney campaign for the spring but gives Winx a chance to win a fifth and sixth race rated in the top 100 in the world in the Turnbull and Cox Plate.
Waller is ready to take her to the world next year after another Sydney autumn campaign should she continue to hold her form.
"We want to give people some indication about the prospect of an overseas campaign and what it might look like, as there has been a lot of talk about it," Waller said. "We would take her to Royal Ascot for either the Queen Anne Stakes [that opens the Royal meeting over a mile] or the Diamond Jubilee.
"We might do it the Australian way [in Diamond Jubilee] and show she could sprint off a break. The six furlongs there is a real test and would suit her."
The Diamond Jubilee has the added attraction of receiving the trophy from Queen Elizabeth should Winx win.
Waller has more than a dozen races under consideration for a European campaign that would stretch to a couple of months, including all the major European meetings from Newmarket to Glorious Goodwood, the York Ebor meeting to the Deauville meeting across the English Channel.
"We don't want to get too far in front of ourselves, we are focused on this preparation, but you need to have plans in place to go over there, and with a horse like her you're not going to go for one race," Waller said. "We would make a decision towards the end of her autumn campaign, which races suit her."
Winx could complete in group 1 races that Australian-trained horses have never been in before including the Falmouth Stakes, against fillies and mares, at Newmarket and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood as well as races in France.
Waller said Winx would mostly likely head to Melbourne a couple of days before the Turnbull and stay there through the remainder of the spring carnival.
He has decided to remove Winx's ear muffs for the Turnbull Stakes after applying the gear for her past two wins the Chelmsford Stakes and George Main Stakes after she blundered at the start of the Warwick Stakes in her first run of the campaign.
"The sole reason for running [in the Turnbull Stakes] as the most likely option is simply based on the timing of the current program, which will provide her with three weeks between runs from the George Main to the Turnbull and another three weeks into the Cox Plate for her fifth run of the campaign," Waller said.
"While this is her intended path, if she was not to run in the Turnbull it would be my intention to run in the Craven Plate on October 14 at Royal Randwick before heading to Melbourne in preparation for the Cox Plate.
"As has always been the case, I will continue to be guided by the horse and what I feel is best for her when planning her racing preparations. I am very mindful of how well received she is each time she races, however her longevity is of the utmost importance and this is evident by the limited racing she does each preparation."
Article courtesy of Fairfax Digital and The Sydney Morning Herald