The absence of Winx gives five of the horses who finished behind her in the Cox Plate the chance to shine in a $2 million Group One race at Flemington.
Saturday’s Emirates Stakes (2000m) is a revamping of the Mackinnon Stakes and has been moved from the first to the last day of the Melbourne Cup carnival to attract horses from the Cox Plate.
Of the five entered for the Emirates, French horse Vadamos finished closest to the champion mare when fourth, albeit almost 10 lengths away.
The other Cox Plate runners are Happy Trails, Happy Clapper, Hauraki and Awesome Rock.
Although Winx has gone for a spell, her trainer Chris Waller will have two runners, stable newcomer Endless Drama and Group One winner Vanbrugh.
The United States, raced by Melbourne Cup-winning owner Lloyd Williams, is the early favourite but Waller can make a case for his two.
“Vanbrugh improved to win a Group Three race last time but he needs to improve again at this level,” Waller said.
“But he’s a Group One-winning colt and I’m hoping he can show that on Saturday.”
Vanbrugh, the winner of the 2015 Spring Champion Stakes, claimed his first win in the year since that Group One win when he took out the Coongy Cup at Caulfield last month.
He is at $21 in early Emirates markets while Endless Drama, runner-up in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas, is a $13 chance ahead of his first start for his new stable,
The Qatar Bloodstock-owned horse arrived with a contingent of European spring carnival visitors and impressed with an eight-length win in a barrier trial at Cranbourne two weeks ago.
“I think he will appreciate the big Flemington track and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does,” Waller said.
“He seems to be enjoying it here but whatever he does on Saturday, I think he will be a force in the autumn.”