Relaxed Winx goes through her paces in Rosehill barrier trial
For the first time since her record-equalling Cox Plate win last October, Winx returned to the racecourse when competing in a barrier trial at Rosehill on Monday.
Barrier trials do not usually garner much, if any, publicity, but there was a full media circus for Winx's reappearance, as she lined up in a field that also included multiple Group 1 winner Redzel.
With regular partner Hugh Bowman aboard, Winx was settled towards the rear of the nine-strong field and cruised round the four-and-a-half-furlong trial, finishing a hard-held sixth, while Redzel finished behind her.
Winx's trainer Chris Waller was pleased with the mare's demeanour and how she took the trial in her stride, and told the Sydney Morning Herald: "Hugh Bowman could have ridden her on a piece of cotton. She was very tractable and she just did everything right.
"She's enjoying it, she's getting used to the fuss and she's getting used to the media and cameras – everything that comes with trial mornings – and to me reading a horse's body language it tells me the horse is very happy.
"To see her so relaxed today was very pleasing and probably the most significant factor out of the trial."
Next month's Group 2 Apollo Stakes at Randwick is the intended starting point for Winx in a campaign that will likely be similar to 2017.
The Chipping Norton Stakes, George Ryder and Queen Elizabeth will also be on her agenda, with the prospect of a European campaign to possibly follow.
Two of the mare's owners, Debbie Kapitis and Peter Tighe, were at Ascot on Saturday and reported that the Queen Anne Stakes was on the mare's bucket list. Kapitis said: "Royal Ascot is a bucket list item. To be able to race a horse at Royal Ascot in the first race of the meeting would be everybody's dream, but that's not what guides us. The horse comes first."
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