Trainer Chris Waller is understandably thrilled with the condition of champion mare Winx ahead of her second-up run in Saturday’s Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick.
Winx has undoubtedly been the star of Australian racing for the last twelve months, and returned to competition a fortnight ago for a classy win in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick; comfortably beating to the line a field solely comprised of Group 1 winners.
Winx reportedly found peak condition a week prior to her Warwick Stakes return, and Waller told AAP it is only a matter of keeping her ticking over leading into the Chelmsford Stakes 2016.
“It’s all maintenance now,” Waller said.
“Now that she’s had that first-up run, she is fit.
“The Warwick Stakes was the important race because it told us where she was.”
Winx is currently rated a resounding and justifiable $1.15 favourite in 2016 Chelmsford Stakes betting markets, while James Cummings-trained three-year-old Prized Icon ($8) is the only other runner available at single-figure odds.
“It’s a hard race for three-year-olds to win,” Waller said.
“They have run well in it but not many can win.”
Only one of Winx’s ten-consecutive wins has been claimed on anything worse than a ‘Good’ track, but Waller said it will take a lot of inclement weather for him to scratch the mare from the Chelmsford Stakes field.
“There would have to be a thunderstorm five minutes before the race to pull her out,” he said.
Breaking through for her maiden win at the highest level in the 2015 edition of the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m), Winx resumed last spring for a gutsy win in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) before taking out each of the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
Resuming in autumn this year for a typically-smart win in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m), the Street Cry mare subsequently posted wins in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
The 2016 Chelmsford Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, today (Wednesday August 31st).
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