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Racing overseas deemed too risky for Winx

If Europe’s leading trainers want to take on Winx they will have to travel to Australia to do so.

Speculation over the champion mare’s schedule for the remainder of the year ended on Wednesday when trainer Chris Waller ruled out an overseas campaign.

Winx will instead focus on winning an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate in the spring, to eclipse the mark she shares with the legendary Kingston Town.

Pressure had been mounting on Waller and Winx’s connections to race the mare in the northern hemisphere after she had has swept all before with 24 consecutive Australian wins since 2015.

Royal Ascot and the Queen Anne Stakes at the iconic English track in had been touted as a potential target for Winx in June, but after in-depth discussions Waller said the decision was made to remain in Australia.

“As a group we have all held ambitions to travel horses internationally and it has been our dream to have a horse race in front of Her Majesty the Queen at Royal Ascot,” Waller said.

“However, this decision is not about us and must be based on the best interests of Winx.

“That’s the best way to keep her racing a little bit longer.”

Waller said safeguarding Winx’s health drove the decision to stay in familiar environments.

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“There were a range of diverse matters to be considered, from well-being risks associated with travel to seasonal changes her hormones may undertake,” he said.

The six-year-old became the most world’s most prolific Group One winner on the flat when she won her third successive George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill last Saturday.

She boosted her Group One tally to 17 and her next goal is to match the 25-race winning streak built by Black Caviar, who’s sequence included a one-off race at Royal Ascot in June 2012.

Black Caviar won the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes before returning to Australia to win three more races before retirement.

Waller said he, owners Peter Tighe, Debbie Kepitis and Richard Treweek and jockey Hugh Bowman were gratified by the overseas interest.

However, she did not have to race outside of Australia to justify her standing.

“Winx has nothing left to prove to anyone, she is and always will be regarded as a legend of the turf,” Waller said.

He hoped European trainers would follow the lead of Irishman Ken Condon, who has brought Success Days to Sydney to take Winx on in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

“Hopefully some more of them will come over here and take her on,” he said.

Winx is a prohibitive favourite to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes for the second year in a row and take her career prize money soaring towards $20 million.

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