Winx: the Cox Plate remains her main Spring Carnival objective
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Lewis Porteous 7:44aM 7 OCT 2016
Preview: Australia, Saturday
Caulfield: Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (Group 1) 3yo+, turf
AUSTRALIA’S champion race mare Winx faces just two rivals when she bids to extend her winning sequence to 12 in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes on Saturday morning.
Trained by Sydney’s champion trainer Chris Waller, Winx makes her first start in Victoria since her rise to stardom in last season’s Cox Plate and faces triple Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart and Group 2 scorer He Or She over 1m2f at Caulfield.
Winx became acquainted with the alien track earlier this week, with big-race jockey Hugh Bowman pleased with the condition of the seven-time Group 1 winner.
“It was pretty casual and she pretty much stretched her legs,” Bowman told AAP racing. “It let her have a look around the track she’ll be racing on and she’s ready to go.”
Black Heart Bob, winner of the Group 1 Underwood Stakes on his last start, is her biggest danger on Saturday as he bids to take his record to four-from-four at Caulfield.
“Tactics go out the window in a small field,” said Bowman, discussing the race. “I can be wherever I’m comfortable. I don’t have to worry about being too far back. I don’t care if I lead or sit outside the leader, although I wouldn’t expect to be there.
“In the small field I could sit last and be spotting the leader a couple of lengths, so it does take the pressure off riding her.”
A second win in Australia’s premier weight-for-age race at Moonee Valley on October 22, and a likely showdown with Godolphin’s Hartnell and challengers from Europe, remains the main Spring Carnival objective for Winx.
Of the pressure associated with training Australia’s latest pin-up girl, Waller said: “A lot of the time you go to the races hoping to win but with Winx you go to the races not expecting to win but knowing you’re expected to win.”