Megastars Winx and Redzel to meet in amazing barrier trial
Wondermare Winx and Australia's dominant sprinter Redzel are set to meet.
It is the sort of match-up that would cause Winx's fans to question the sanity of her trainer Chris Waller, putting her unbeaten record on the line against the Everest-winning sprinter – were it not a four-and-a-half-furlong barrier trial.
It is also the sort of match-up that we would love to see in the breeding barn. But sadly that simply isn't possible – due to Redzel's lack of baby makers – so for now this is as good as it gets.
Like when Adidas put David Beckham and Jonny Wilkinson together in that 2003 advert, it is a wonderful and rare opportunity for Australia's two biggest names to strut their stuff at the same time in what has to be the greatest barrier trial ever run.
Because the superfreak three-time Cox Plate heroine with 22 consecutive wins to her name and the winner of the world's richest race on turf are not the only star names on show. Monday's Rosehill spin also features Victoria Derby winner Ace High and Golden Rose hero Trapeze Artist as they gear up for their 2018 autumn campaign.
Winx's year is likely to follow a similar path to 2017 with the Group 2 Apollo Stakes at Randwick on February 17 followed by the Chipping Norton Stakes, George Ryder and Queen Elizabeth. A European campaign will then be considered.
"She's come back well from her summer break," Waller told justracing.com.au. "This is probably a slightly easier time to prepare them as they look better in their summer coats, she's only had four weeks off and she's in pre-training back with me.
"She's had two or three solid gallops, she'll have another later in the week, and then she trials on Monday. She's come back in what we think is perfect order, there's no change in her attitude or movement. She's working great and she'll keep going as long as she says she wants to keep racing. She'll tell us when she wants to run, where she wants to run and for how long she wants to run."
Redzel, who himself is starting to rack up an imposing unbeaten sequence with his six consecutive victories including the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 and Darley Classic as well as the Au$10,000,000 Everest, is on target to begin in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington, on the same day as Winx's first start of 2018, with the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick in April his final start of the campaign.
"Redzel has come back into work great and is ticking over nicely," his co-trainer Peter Snowden told the Racing Post. "Monday’s trial will be the first of two trials before the Lightning.
"He’ll be given a soft trial on Monday as we get him back up to speed before a harder hit out early February. It’s exciting to have him back in the stable as he was a real star last year and if anything he seems to have come back better than ever.
"There’ll obviously be a lot of attention on the trial but we’re out to do our own thing on Monday as we get closer to a return to the racetrack."
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