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Winx shines in Moonee Valley gallop

Champion mare Winx has turned in a sparkling piece of work at Moonee Valley in an ominous warning ahead of her Cox Plate defence.

The odds-on favourite for Saturday week’s $3 million Cox Plate was taken to Moonee Valley on Saturday while three-year-old filly Yankee Rose also galloped at the track in a solo hit-out.

Winx sat off stablemate Lady Le Fay in her gallop before joining her on the outside at the top of the straight and powering clear by three lengths.

The final 400m of the work-out was clocked at 23.49secs.

“I couldn’t be happier,” jockey Hugh Bowman said.

Trainer Chris Waller echoed those sentiments and said the mare was exactly where they wanted her and to his eye the work was as good as it could be.

“I can’t fault her,” Waller said.

“That was perfect. I came here without a stopwatch and just said to the boys what I wanted and I got exactly what I wanted.

“Just nice, steady work. Short, sharp, just to give her a good clean-out and give her (another) look at the Valley. She did everything we asked her to do, and it looked good too.”

Winx is at $1.90 for the Cox Plate ahead of Hartnell ($3) with Spring Champion Stakes winner Yankee Rose next at $15.

“I’m very confident that she’ll run up to her best, yet I’m extremely respectful for it being a Cox Plate,” Waller said.

Trainer David Vandyke was thrilled with how Yankee Rose handled her first look around the track.

She worked three-quarter pace from the 1200m and quickened to a working gallop from the 600m, clocking 25.98sec for the final 400m.

She will have a more serious gallop at the Valley on Tuesday.

“I thought she went terrific. She seemed to get on her correct leg. She’s nice and relaxed and just seems to handle new surrounds very well,” Vandyke said.

“I’m looking forward to her gallop on Tuesday. I think today was good as a preliminary to that, and bring on next Saturday.”

Vandyke is looking forward to the challenge in the Cox Plate against the older stars.

“They’d want to be on their A-game because I think our filly is,” he said.

“And the pressure is off. She won a Group One last start. We’re going in as an underdog and we’re just looking forward to enjoying the ride.”

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