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Waller targeting Europe for Winx in 2018

Trainer Chris Waller is plotting world domination for Winx with plans already underway to bring the super mare across to Europe in 2018.

The five-year-old was named the world’s top turf horse in London on Tuesday at the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Awards with a rating of 132 having chalked up 13 successive victories since September 2015.

US dirt track kings Arrogate and California Chrome finished ahead of Winx for the overall top prize with ratings of 134 and 133 respectively following their thrilling Breeders’ Cup Classic duel in November.

Winx will return to the track on February 11 for the Group Two Apollo Stakes at Randwick in what will be her first outing since her eight-length Cox Plate success in October.

She’ll then target the the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes on April 8 after defending the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes and the George Ryder Stakes.

All eyes will then be focused on becoming the first horse since Kingston Town in 1982 to win three Cox Plates.

Waller has ruled out any prospect of her featuring at Royal Ascot this June, insisting he’ll only run his superstar charge when the time is right and if she’s had the best preparation possible.

“What people don’t understand is that the world stage isn’t a problem,” Waller told AAP.

“It’s the travelling and the acclimatising that comes with it. The control the hemisphere has over the horse is amazing.

“To put it in human terms it’s jet lag for six months plus.

“We’re very mindful of that, but we are very respectful of the horse. She should be seen racing at her best and if that happens we’ll be ready to come over here.

“If she is where she is now and with another Cox Plate behind her she’ll come over here for sure.

“But it won’t be for just one race, it will be for four or five.”

Waller joked on stage at the exclusive Claridges Hotel that Winx will need to run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic to prove she was the best outright horse in the world.

But later he revealed Arrogate’s trainer Bob Baffert told him Winx would be able to transfer her turf success on to the dirt in the US.

“Bob Baffert said to me her racing style looks like a dirt horse and being by Street Cry he’d be surprised if she wasn’t,” he said.

“I don’t see any more to achieve if she wins a third Cox Plate, which is a big assignment in itself. After that I’m sure the owners would agree to a world experience.

“My thoughts are 1600 to 2000 metres in Australia is her best distance.

“But she’d be competitive early in her preparation over 1400 in Europe and may have a bit of an edge over that distance because of her speed.”

Last year’s Cox Plate was given an international rating of 124.75, along with the Irish Champion Stakes and the Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar, California.

That mark was bettered only by the Breeders’ Cup Classic at 125.25.

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