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Relaxed Winx ready for world record bid

What seems like a formality is the culmination of hours of dedicated care and attention to detail.

Winx will run in Saturday’s Chipping Norton Stakes and barring misfortune, seems assured of a world record 23rd Group One win and her 31st consecutive victory.

Her jockey Hugh Bowman put her through her paces on Thursday morning with trainer Chris Waller ever watchful, looking for any negative signs.

There were none and the mare is primed for Saturday.

“Over five or six years, we’ve noticed the changes,” Waller said.

“Comparing her to a person, she is a little bit smarter.

“She knows where the winning post is. She has become used to winning. She knows what she’s doing.

“Hughie rides a lot of horses and I train a lot of horses and you’re forever saying, ‘Why didn’t this horse win today?’ or ‘How come this horse can’t win from that position?’ But Winx breaks all those rules.

“She’s overcoming track conditions, luck in running, sectional times – which is a big thing in sport.”

Winx will have six rivals in Saturday’s race with the Pat Webster-trained Happy Clapper the only one from outside the Waller stable and second to the mare four times including the Apollo Stakes last Saturday week.

Bowman says Winx has an engine other horses don’t and that’s what sets her apart.

“She is just different,” Bowman said. “I got that feeling on Tuesday morning when I worked with Unforgotten.

“Her work was exceptional.

“I can honestly say Unforgotten is probably the best horse Winx has worked with and Unforgotten worked really well but Winx just did it as she does on race day.

“She’s just got gears that other horses don’t have.

“She’s got competitive juices flowing through her veins.”

Bookmakers have Winx at $1.08 to win but the price barely matters.

And what is perceived as a lack of quality opposition is not her fault.

Four of her six opponents are Group One winners in their own right and in another era, people would be coming just to see the popular Happy Clapper.

He has won the two biggest races over the Randwick mile, the Epsom and the Doncaster.

But Webster concedes he is racing for second as he was in the Apollo – and that’s just fine with him.

“Hopefully he can run second to Winx again,” Webster said. “He can’t beat her on what she showed in the Apollo.”

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