2. Invictus Place
It’s officially Winx Day! Join The Roar for a live blog of the 2018 Winx Stakes at the Royal Randwick Racecourse on Saturday afternoon, starting from 3pm AEST.
Welcome punters to the first racing blog of the 2018-19 season as we celebrate the first Group 1 race on the calendar, the Winx Stakes (1400m).
Formerly known as the Warwick Stakes, the Group 2 race has been given an upgrade and new name in honour of the champion mare.
Today, Winx looks to surpass the record of another champion mare in Black Caviar, who also has a Group 1 race named in her honour, the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m).
While Black Caviar went undefeated to win 25 of her 25 starts, Winx will look to make it 26 wins in a row today.
The Chris Waller-trained seven-year-old has been to the races 35 times and won on 29 occasions. She’s finished second three times and was unplaced three times.
Winx hasn’t lost a race since she was second in the Group 1 ATC Oaks in 2015 as a three-year-old.
Bookmakers think she’ll win again today. BetEasy has her around the $1.20 mark, which means they think she’s around an 84 per cent chance to win.
Personally, I think she probably wins, but wouldn’t be backing her.
However, if the Winx we know and love shows up, there’s no stopping her.
The Godolphin stallion Kementari is the only possible danger. He’s got match fitness on his side after a solid hit-out in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) and is probably more suited to the seven furlongs (1400m) than Winx, who is first-up since April.
Of course, today’s race is just a stepping stone for the great mare, who will look to add a record-breaking fourth Cox Plate to her amazing trophy cabinet.
If we assume Waller intends to follow the same program he did with her last year, then Winx will head to the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) on September 1, followed by the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) a fortnight later on September 15, before making the trip to Victoria for the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on October 6 and Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 27.
If the mighty mare does follow that path and continues her unbeaten streak, she will finish the spring with 30 straight wins, 34 in total and well in excess of $20 million in prize money.
But first, she has to win today. What do you think, punters? Is she vulnerable first-up?
Join The Roar for a live blog of the 2018 Winx Stakes at the Royal Randwick Racecourse on Saturday afternoon, starting from 3pm AEST.
Matt is a newspaper editor by trade but spends his time dwelling about his glory years as an average opening batsman and slow half-back flanker. If he's not flicking between all the sport he can find on TV, he's out trying to lower his handicap on the golf course. He loves writing about horse racing – one of the most intriguing industries in the world.
Caulfield and Flemington have had their taste of Group 1 racing this spring, and we’ve seen some fantastic racing – Behemoth winning back-to-back Memsies, Incentivise laying a down-payment on future riches in the Makybe Diva Stakes, and Sierra Sue winning a thrilling Rupert Clarke Stakes to give Daniel Moor his first Australian Group 1 winner.