JU­NIOR SPORTS STAR

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - with Ray Thomas

WINX, the na­tion’s premier race­horse and the sport’s big­gest draw­card, be­gins her new cam­paign in the Group 2 $250,000 War­wick Stakes at Royal Rand­wick on Satur­day.

The 1400m weight-for-age race will be Winx’s first start since her fa­mous Don­caster Mile win dur­ing The Cham­pi­onships last April.

The mighty mare was un­beaten in all seven starts dur­ing 2015-16, in­clud­ing her five Group 1 wins.

Winx, the Horse of the Year elect, will have three starts in Syd­ney this spring, all at the Royal Rand­wick track, in­clud­ing the Group 2 $250,000 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) on Septem­ber 3 and the Group 1 $500,000 Ge­orge Main Stakes (1600m) on Septem­ber 17.

Lead­ing trainer Chris Waller is us­ing the War­wick Stakes to launch Winx’s Cox Plate de­fence later this year.

CAR­NI­VAL KICKS OFF

THE War­wick Stakes meet­ing is the un­of­fi­cial start of the Syd­ney spring car­ni­val with five Group races on the nine-event pro­gram.

The sup­port races in­clude the Group 2 $175,000 Sil­ver Shadow Stakes (1200m), and three Group 3 races worth a gen­er­ous $125,000 each – Show County Qual­ity (1200m), Toy Show Qual­ity (1300m) and Up And Com­ing Stakes (1300m).

MEDITER­RANEAN HOT

MY tip for this week­end’s rac­ing is the Peter and Paul Snow­den-trained Mediter­ranean in the Up And Com­ing Stakes at the Royal Rand­wick track.

Mediter­ranean was des­per­ately un­lucky when clos­ing fast for a last start sec­ond be­hind Thronum in The Rose­bud and will ap­pre­ci­ate the step up to 1300m.

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