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Winx ready for starring role again

As has become the norm, Winx will have a photo-shoot two days out from her next race start.

Behind the scenes all the work has been done with her trainer Chris Waller confident both he and she are prepared for her defence of Saturday’s Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick.

Australia’s champion racehorse will have a light gallop on Thursday morning in front of TV cameras and various media outlets.

After that, she returns to her Rosehill stable for a normal day.

“Her first-up win in the Apollo Stakes was really good and she is maintaining her racing weight,” Waller said.

“She’s about 98 per cent fit and she is the type of horse who gets better the more she gets into her preparation.”

That’s not good news for her rivals with Winx again the odds-on favourite to beat Hartnell for the sixth time from six meetings.

Godolphin’s Hartnell is Australia’s second highest-rated racehorse and trainer John O’Shea concedes he is probably running for second as he did in the Apollo.

“In view of the fact that it’s two weeks between runs he’s probably carrying a little more condition than we would normally have on him, which is an intentional thing that will ideally get him to the Queen Elizabeth spot-on,” O’Shea said.

“The outside barrier is not ideal because we’ll have to drag back and there’ll be a lot of slow ones in front of us.

“We just want him to have a good, positive day and hit the line hard and when he gets to the Ranvet in three weeks and moves up to 10 furlongs (2000m) at Rosehill I’m sure he’ll be very effective.”

Hartnell’s stablemate Magic Hurricane, winner of the 2015 Metropolitan, will wear blinkers in the Chipping Norton with O’Shea hoping the predicted rain in Sydney arrives.

“We’re going to put the blinkers on him. He’s desperate to get his toe in the ground,” O’Shea said.

“After this week he gets into a 10-furlong race that will really suit him at Rosehill. I expect to see the best of him then.”

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