Team Winx set to finalise farewell tour
DISCUSSIONS this week between Chris Waller and Winx's ownership group are expected to outline the champion's likely retirement plans.
Waller, jockey Hugh Bowman and owners Peter Tighe, Debbie Kepitis and Richard Treweeke will meet to formulate the wonder mare's next - and almost certainly last - campaign before she goes to stud.
One option yet to be thoroughly canvassed is $5 million All-Star Mile at Flemington on March 16.
Winx's traditional autumn schedule has featured the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) followed by a trio of Group 1s - the Chipping Norton (1600m), George Ryder (1500m) and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
The George Ryder is scheduled for March 23, raising the possibility it could be replaced in Winx's program by the All-Star Mile.
Assuming Winx is fit and healthy and contests the Chipping Norton Stakes on March 2, it would leave a two-week gap to the All-Star Mile.
Waller likes to space Winx's runs with three-week intervals.
The Queen Elizabeth shapes as the world's equal top-rated galloper's farewell at Randwick on April 13.
Winner of her past 29 starts, with 22 of those at Group 1 level, Winx last week returned to Waller's stables.
Waller said he is delighted with Winx's condition after she was given a short break following her historic fourth successive Cox Plate victory at The Valley on October 28.
Waller indicated during the spring the ownership group, while keen to follow its usual race-by-race approach to programming, would ultimately nominate a farewell race.