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Winx overshadows Chaussure Sydney return

Debbie Kepitis.
Winx’s part-owner Debbie Kepitis has Chaussure running in her Woppitt Bloodstock silks at Randwick.

In most circumstances it would be a return to racing after an extended absence that would have the unwavering attention of the trainer and the owner.

But these are exceptional times for Chris Waller and Debbie Kepitis and Chaussure will have to make a comeback without them at Randwick.

Waller as trainer and Kepitis as part-owner have an appointment with a moment of the Australian turf tipped to be like no other when Winx chases her fourth Cox Plate win.

Chaussure races 25 minutes before the Cox Plate and unless Waller and Kepitis are in need of a welcome distraction, their interest in the result might have to wait.

Now a five-year-old gelding, Chaussure returns to competition almost two years since he last raced as a colt earmarked for a bright future.

He completed a low-key spring campaign in 2016 with two wins and the promise of more to come before an innocuous injury derailed his career.

“It was simply a cut on his leg, there was no structural damage but it took time to heal over,” Waller said.

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“He was given a short preparation, including a couple of trials a few months back and we weren’t that happy with the way he was trialling.

“So he has since been gelded and come back in a lot more athletic.”

Chaussure is raced under Kepitis’ Woppitt Bloodstock banner and besides the trainer and owner connection, there will be an additional Cox Plate link to his comeback.

His sire is Jimmy Choux, runner-up in the 2011 Cox Plate, and now one of New Zealand’s up-and-coming stallions.

Chaussure resumes at 1400m in the Heineken 3 Handicap, a distance that suggests he has done enough work on the training track to make a first-up impression.

But Waller is cautious about expecting too much.

“As you will often hear me say, when a horse has had a long spell such as this they can often take a run or two to get to their best form,” he said.

“But with that said, he has certainly got class on his side.”

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