Waller: there's a good chance of seeing Winx at Royal Ascot one day
Chris Waller put the finishing touches to Australian wondermare Winx’s preparation for the A$4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes on April 8 with an exhibition gallop under regular rider Hugh Bowman at Randwick on Saturday.
The trackwork, in which Winx went unextended over five furlongs, took place in front of the packed stands during the opening meeting of The Champions.
“She’s exactly where we need her to be,” said Waller. “Obviously her form speaks for itself. In terms of the three-week preparation going into the Queen Elizabeth, it’s traditional for her to have an exhibition gallop.
“It takes the nerves away and helps her settle down. She wasn’t out to set a track record today, just go through the motions, stretch her legs and have a day out.”
Waller also gave racing fans in the northern hemisphere hopes of one day seeing Winx compete outside of her native Australia, saying: “I’d say there’s a good chance [of seeing Winx racing at Royal Ascot]. I don’t know about this year, but we’re certainly well aware of Royal Ascot and the other races on the English calendar.”
The five-year-old mare has won 20 of her 26 starts, amassing over A$10m (£6,083,386/€7,155,516) in prize-money, and will be bidding to add a 17th consecutive victory to her CV in the Group 1 contest next weekend.
The Charlie Appleby-trained Polarisation was withdrawn from the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap at Randwick, won by Darren Weir’s Big Duke, after suffering a superficial leg injury overnight.
The five-year-old stayer, winner of the Melrose Stakes in 2015, remains on target for the Group 1 Sydney Cup on April 8.
Assistant trainer James Ferguson said: “It looks like he has been cast in his box overnight and knocked his leg.
“He's not lame but it’s a little tender, and after phoning Charlie in the UK, we decided it was best to miss the Chairman's and wait for next week. It's a pity because, up to now, Polarisation had not put a foot wrong.”