Hugh Bowman and Winx take part in an exhibition gallop between races on Chelmsford Stakes Day.
Hugh Bowman and Winx take part in an exhibition gallop between races on Chelmsford Stakes Day.

Winx still Main course to create more history

CHAMPION mare Winx could be having her final start in Sydney this spring when she aims for her 27th successive win in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Winx's trainer Chris Waller hasn't finalised her race program beyond the George Main but confirmed she will need another lead-up run before attempting an unprecedented fourth successive Cox Plate.

"Her run beyond Saturday is not locked in yet,'' Waller said.

"It it is likely to be in Melbourne but we haven't given up on keeping her here.

"She can go two weeks, four weeks, where ever she goes. I said at the end of last preparation it is one run at a time and we will stick to that.''

Waller's options for Winx after the George Main Stakes are the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 6, or a week later in either the Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick or the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.

The Cox Plate (2040m) is at Moonee Valley on October 27.

Winx returns to scale after winning the Winx Stakes.
Winx returns to scale after winning the Winx Stakes.

The Australian Turf Club is hopeful of a big crowd to watch all-time great Winx in her quest to become the first to win three successive George Main Stakes and give Waller his fifth win in a row in the feature weight-for-age race.

He also trained Sacred Falls (2014) and Kermadec (2015) to win the race.

Waller said he is likely to nominate a number of Winx's stablemates for the George Main Stakes including Who Shot Thebarman, Comin'Through, Tom Melbourne, Unforgotten, Youngstar and Egg Tart.

"Some of them will go to Melbourne but most will stay in Sydney,'' Waller said.

"Unforgotten has already won over 2400m so there is no rush for her. Youngstar has already won over 2200m and same with Egg Tart. I just want to get a good base into them, keep them sharp before stepping them up in trip.

"Tom Melbourne could be there as well. The one thing missing out of his scrapbook is a photo running second to Winx.

"They can't beat her, but it is an important race for them [going forward].''

Waller said the release of Epsom Handicap weights today will a "big factor on where our horses go'' next Saturday.

"They will help me decide what stays around to run in the Epsom and what goes to Melbourne for the Makybe Diva Stakes,'' he added.

 

All systems are go: Hugh Bowman and Winx outguns stablemates in a stimulated race at Randwick on September 1.
All systems are go: Hugh Bowman and Winx outguns stablemates in a stimulated race at Randwick on September 1.

 

PAYNE EXPECTED TO PLAY HIS WINX ACE

TRAINER David Payne will nominate Ace High for both the George Main Stakes and the Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) on Saturday.

Payne said he will study the entries for both races and discuss the options with owner John Cordina but both men favour taking on Winx in the George Main Stakes.

Ace High, who won the Gloaming Stakes-Spring Champion Stakes-Victoria Derby treble last spring, showed he is working his way back to top form with an outstanding second to Unforgotten in the Chelmsford Stakes last start.

Payne is setting promising Tarka for a similar three-year-old campaign as Ace High's last year after he scored a tough win in the Stan Fox Stakes at Rosehill last Saturday.

Tarka held off the late surge of Dealmaker to score a narrow win with both three-year-olds on the classic trail.



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