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Winx maintaining weight and fitness

Two-time Cox Plate champion Winx
Champion mare Winx will be out for a 10th Group One win at the Chipping Norton Stakes.

Any hopes rival trainers might have been harbouring that Winx had a tough run in the Apollo Stakes have been put to bed by Chris Waller.

The champion made a delayed start to 2017 last Monday at Randwick after the scheduled meeting two days earlier was moved because of extreme heat.

It made no difference to the mare who took her score over Hartnell to five-nil in the Group Two race.

The two meet at the track again in Saturday’s Group One Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) with Winx looking to extend her winning streak to 15 and bring up her 10th win at the elite level.

‘We weighed her and she’s put on a couple of kilos since the Apollo,” Waller said.

“So she is holding her racing weight and that’s important.

“She is fit and our job is to maintain that and keep her going through the preparation and she’s as good as she can be.”

Hugh Bowman can probably count himself lucky to be riding the mare after an incident in a later race on Monday when he was suspended for not riding his mount to the line.

Bowman will be out from Monday to Friday this week.

Brenton Avdulla has got the nod to ride Hartnell with retained Godolphin jockey James Doyle sidelined with a hand injury after falling from Pearls in the Triscay Stakes on Monday.

Doyle was originally expected to be out for at least a month but now hopes to get back for the March 4 meeting or shortly after.

The Waller-trained Omei Sword will have her first start since the spring when she runs in Saturday’s Group Two Surround Stakes.

The filly hasn’t run since she finished second to Godolphin colt Asterm in the Group One Golden Rose in September.

Her autumn campaign has been delayed because of a slight muscle problem but she proved her fitness with a race day gallop at Rosehill on Saturday.

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