Melbourne racegoers must wait to marvel at super mare Winx at Flemington for the first time, with trainer Chris Waller ruling out a crack at the $1.5 million Australian Cup on March 11.
Although Waller said a $400 fee had been paid last week to keep the world’s top-rated horse on turf in the 2000m feature, he confirmed Winx’s priorities lay closer to home.
Waller’s desire to defend the Group One $1 million George Ryder Stakes on Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill on March 18 was greeted with relief – and applause – at the carnival’s official launch at Randwick on Tuesday.
“Melbourne had her in the spring. She’ll do some of her racing there after she’s finished with the spring carnival here in Sydney,” Waller said.
“In autumn it’s all Sydney, it’s always been the plan.”
Waller said Winx was nominated for the Australian Cup to “keep all options open” but the preference was always for the champion five-year-old to compete on her home track.
“She can either go a hundred metres across the road to Rosehill or a thousand kilometres to Flemington,” he said.
Winx, meanwhile, wound down from her dominant display on a heavy track to defend the Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick on Saturday with a beach work-out at Botany Bay.
“She was at beach this morning, not sunbathing, walking through the water doing her recovery,” Waller said.
“The beauty of her racing on Saturday means she can now have a leisurely time for the next seven days and then start to gear up towards Rosehill.
“She’ll be running in the George Ryder and three weeks later in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.”
Winx won the George Ryder Stakes from stablemate Kermadec last year and is also the favourite to claim the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) for the first time at Randwick on April 8.
TAB fixed odds had Winx heading the Australian Cup market at $2.50 but has now taken her out with Humidor and Jameka the joint $4.40 favourites.No tags for this post.