Tue, Jul 25, 10:50am by Senior Writer
Supermare Winx has begun her preparations for a tilt an historic third Cox Plate with an impressive trial performance at Randwick this week.
For the third straight Spring Carnival, Winx is likely to be the headline act of the spring and she is $1.60 to win Australasia’s greatest weight-for-age race on October 28, joining Kingston Town as the only horses to win the Cox Plate on three occasions.
She stepped out on Monday for her first major test this campaign placing third after finishing strongly from the rear of the field. The champion mare has never won a trial in her previous 15 attempts, which stands in contrast to her racetrack record, where she has been unbeaten in her past 17 starts.
Jockey Hugh Bowman gave a glowing assessment of the rising six-year old, saying she is as strong as ever heading into this campaign.
“She feels to me as though she has strengthened up a little bit with natural development and it’s probably as good as she has ever trialled in all honesty,” Bowman said.
“She was very relaxed early on in the trial and when I got in some open space in the final 200m she really surged to the line.”
She will have another trial on August 8 before looking to continue her racetrack winning streak when she resumes in the Warwick Stakes on August 19.
From there, the world’s highest-rated turf horse is likely to go to the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick on September 2 before stepping up to Group 1 company in the George Main Stakes on September 16.
Sportsbet has her $1.15 for that race, while she is likely to start an even shorter price in her first two races of this campaign.
From there she will go to either the Group 3 Craven Plate or the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes on October 14 before her spring grand final at Moonee valley on October 28.
She completely dominates the Cox Plate market, with no other runner currently under $21.
Sportsbet is also offering a market on whether she will go through the rest of 2017 unbeaten, with $2.50 on offer. There is also a market on the first horse to beat the superstar mare since her defeat in the Australian Oaks in 2015.
Old rival Hartnell is $4.60, Western Australian star Scales of Justice is at $5.50, while European star Highland Reel, who was third behind her in the 2015 Cox Plate, is $7. There is also a ‘Any Other Horse’ option at $5, which seems terrific value so long as the market is refunded if she doesn’t get beaten again.
Trainer Chris Waller has indicated that she is likely to retire after her 2018 autumn campaign which could see her target a race at Royal Ascot.
Markets courtesy of sportsbet.com.au
$2.50 Winx to go undefeated for the rest of 2017
First horse to beat Winx
$5.00 Any Other Horse
$5.50 Scales Of Justice
$7.00 Highland Reel
$8.50 Egg Tart
$11 Black Heart Bart
$15 Omei Sword
$21 Our Ivanhowe
$21 Tosen Stardom
$21 Hey Doc
$31 She Will Reign
$26 Royal Symphony
$26 Highland Reel
$26 The United States
George Main Stakes
$16 Our Ivanhowe
$17 It’s Somewhat
$26 Antonio Giuseppe
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