Winx leading into Spring with first ever trial win

Connor Bennett Roar Guru

By Connor Bennett, Connor Bennett is a Roar Guru & Live Blogger

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    Can Winx take out the Cox Plate again?. Almost certainly. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

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    Champion mare Winx has won her first ever barrier trial on Tuesday, finishing strong on the inside line at Randwick as preparations for the Spring heat up.

    In the midst of a historic 17-race winning streak, the six-year-old had failed to finish better than third in all of her 15 previous trial runs before the victory earlier in the week.

    While trials are just that and results being taken with a big grain of salt, the fact that the Chris Waller-trained mare was able to back up a strong third place trial a couple of weeks ago with this win is bad news for her rivals.

    She was able to streak home inside the final hundred metres to take it by a length at the post over Pariah and Happy Clapper.

    Waller has said in the past that trials were never there to be won for Winx and how he works to prepare her, but was pleasantly surprised by the result.

    “I was happy with her winning the trial,” said the two-time Cox Plate-winning trainer.

    “It was unusual for her.

    “I thought that she was probably doing a little bit too well for this stage of her preparation and just needed to have a little bit of a stronger hit-out than normal because she’s just that little bit heavier than she normally is.”

    Winx is eyeing off a historic third Cox Plate triumph in a row this season, a feat only matched by the legendary Kingston Town from 1980 through to 1982.

    Before that though will be her competitive return to the track next weekend.

    She’ll be lining up at the Warwick Stakes on August 19, a Group 2 race she comfortably won last year by nearly four lengths over Hartnell.

    “With today’s trial, I think she’s right on track for her first-up run in which will be over 1400m in the Warwick Stakes,” said Waller.

    “This will just take the edge off her and we’ll see her in picture perfect order.”

    Winx has enjoyed 17 race wins in a row now, including 12 Group 1’s and a pair of Cox Plate demolition jobs that culminated in a scarcely believable eight-length win last year.

    She hasn’t lost a race in over two years, dating back to April 2015, with her last run coming in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in April, racking up a pleasant five-length win before a 15-week spell.

    The aforementioned Warwick Stakes and Cox Plate are high on the agenda for Waller, but the trainer may be looking at a first-time move to Flemington for the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

    “I’d like to give her a four-week gap between one of the runs and if we can do that it could get her out to the Emirates Stakes on the last day of the Flemington Carnival,” he said.

    Winx has never raced at the famed racetrack in Melbourne but could be a destination if preparations continue to run smoothly.

    “Everything is possible but we just want to make sure we get her through to the Cox Plate,” said Waller.

    “I’ve simply said that if we can space her races it will give her longevity so don’t expect her to be going around every two weeks this preparation.”

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