Winx will not contest Saturday’s Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes
PICTURE: Getty Images
Australia: Winx will not bid win a tenth stakes race in succession after trainer Chris Waller confirmed the brilliant mare is done for the campaign, a decision he acknowledged will disappoint many punters.
Many had hoped the mare would line up in Saturday’s Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 1m2f on the second day of The Championships at Randwick after she delivered an astonishing performance to win the Group 1 Doncaster Mile Handicap last Saturday.
Had she done so and won, Winx would have become only the seventh horse in Australian racing history to land ten stakes races in a row, following in the footsteps of stars like Black Caviar.
Winx had been as short as 2-5 to win the race that had been her stated aim for most of the Australian summer but Waller confirmed the decision to sidestep the contest after watching his stable star work on Tuesday morning.
The decision to target the A$3 million Doncaster with last year’s Group 1 Cox Plate winner was made relatively late in Winx’s autumn campaign and Waller on Tuesday released a statement explaining the decision to dodge Saturday’s A$4 million weight-for-age contest.
“The decision has been made by the owners and myself in a joint agreement,” he said. “We are a little concerned that the winning run in the Doncaster did require a lot of effort, which is hard to quantify.
“She is a horse that has exceptional talent but I feel she only has this talent due to the amount of effort she puts into her races. Expecting her to back up after a tough run in a seven-day period against a 2,000 metre weight-for-age field would be too much for a horse that puts so much determination into her races.
“I am very mindful that the public do want to see her race on Saturday but it is more important that the public get to see her race next preparation and beyond.
“I fully realise there will be disappointed parties but everything was talen into consideration by the owners. Our final decision was made easier when we kept coming back to the longevity of our pride and joy.”
Possible international targets
The decision to end Winx’s season rules out a shot at Royal Ascot this summer but Waller has not closed the door on the possibility of racing the mare internationally.
Sydney’s champion trainer says the focus will now be on the Australian spring, although there are reports the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly remains on the radar.
“She will head for a spell and be aimed towards races in the [southern hemisphere] spring,” said Waller. “I would like to start her off in Sydney and also include Melbourne.
“Sydney in autumn is also extremely important to us. Beyond that, we can look abroad should we feel the need to take her to the world stage.”
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