Winx warning: she's better than ever for Chipping Norton return says Waller
Preview: Australia, Saturday
Randwick: Chipping Norton Stakes (Group 1) |1m | turf | 3yo+ (4.30am Saturday)
Australia's first lady Winx begins a campaign that could include a trip to Royal Ascot in Saturday's Chipping Norton Stakes – and connections reckon she is as good as ever.
Seeking a hat-trick in the A$600,000 (£340,000/€380,000) contest, the three-time Cox Plate heroine, who was ranked the best turf horse of 2017, faces eight rivals on her first start since October.
She put the finishing touches to her preparation by stretching her legs on Thursday morning, and trainer Chris Waller was purring after the workout.
He said: "She had a relatively light workout, but it was an important piece of work to make sure she's nice and settled for Saturday.
"Everything's gone to plan. We're very proud of her and what she's done. She's done it in all sorts of conditions over a number of years and she's got a great following.
"She's a lot easier to train now than when she was four and with age she's matured. She copes with racing and training better; she's handling it all better mentally and there are positive signs she's as good as she's ever been."
Winx's rivals include stablemates Libran, who used to be trained in Britain and runs in the Highclere colours, and Who Shot Thebarman.
She will be a red-hot favourite for the Chipping Norton, and according to Hugh Bowman, the lucky man who gets to ride her, she is primed to perfection.
"She's been going really nicely and her preparations suggests she's ready to go to the races," said Bowman.
Winx is also due to run in the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill on March 24, and then her camp are likely to decide if she will travel to Europe this summer.
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