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Winx a pleasing third in barrier trial

Winx, ridden by Hugh Bowman, winning the Cox Plate
Winx has made her first public appearance since the Cox Plate, finishing third in a barrier trial.

Winx has passed the first test in what shapes as another record-breaking preparation, putting in an encouraging barrier trial performance in her first public appearance since her stunning Cox Plate defence.

Trainer Chris Waller said he was happy with her fitness levels after she crossed the line to finish 3-1/2 lengths third behind Group One-winnng sprinter Music Magnate in a 900m heat at Rosehill on Tuesday morning.

With jockey Hugh Bowman aboard, Winx was sprightly in her trial, sitting fourth during the run before finishing off well to cross the line just behind stablemate Endless Drama.

“We didn’t ask her to do a whole lot this morning but it’s probably as good as she’s trialled in her career,” Bowman said.

Waller said Winx would trial again before her first-up run in the Group Two Apollo Stakes at Randwick on February 11, with her main aim the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at the same track on April 8.

“She’s got a good covering over her body. She’s not too light, nor is she too heavy,” Waller said.

“She’s enjoying things and she’s exactly where she needs to be.”

Four runs are planned for Winx’s autumn campaign including the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on February 25 and the Group One George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 18.

“The four-race preparation gives us longevity,” Waller said.

“It’s not just about racing every week. It’s also important that we get her racing for years to come as well.”

While the unbeaten Black Caviar’s 25 wins stand alone, a first-up win will take Winx’s winning streak to 14, bringing her on level terms with Phar Lap’s run.

A faultless preparation would eclipse Bernborough and Carbine’s 15-straight wins.

Winx also has the opportunity to go past Sunline, also a dual Cox Plate winner, and jump to No. 2 on the list of Australasian prize money earners during the preparation.

If she wins her four planned starts, her career stakes will skyrocket to $12.76 million leaving only Makybe Diva to pass in order to become the highest earner of all time.

“There’s so many different milestones that she’s now achieving and we respect all of them,” Waller said.

“We also respect that she can be beaten at some stage.

“We’re conscious of doing the very best we can and hope that she keeps winning for the public.”

The champion mare set a new apex in last year’s Cox Plate, running away with an unprecedented eight-length win.

“We don’t need to make her go faster, just keep her the way she is and she’ll keep winning,” Waller said.

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