Winx to seal name game

The Courier-Mail - - SPORT - RAY THOMAS

SYD­NEY’S su­per mare Winx is primed to ex­tend her fa­mous win­ning streak by claim­ing the race named in her hon­our at Rand­wick on Satur­day.

Winx, the world’s top-rated race­horse, is aim­ing for her 26th con­sec­u­tive win in the Group 1 Winx (for­merly War­wick) Stakes over 1400m.

If Winx wins her come­back race, with Lad­brokes hav­ing her at $1.15 al­ready, she will set a na­tional record for con­sec­u­tive wins. She now shares that record with Black Caviar.

Trainer Chris Waller said Winx had done ev­ery­thing right in prepa­ra­tion for her re­turn to rac­ing.

“I can’t be­lieve how she has come through her gal­lop at Rand­wick and trial (last) week and she is ready to go, I couldn’t be hap­pier with her,’’ he said. ‘‘She will have a cou­ple of gal­lops on Tues­day (to­mor­row) and Thurs­day.

“We have made sure she is ready for it, be­ing a Group 1 race named in her hon­our.’’

Waller de­scribed the re- nam­ing of the War­wick Stakes af­ter his mare and then el­e­vat­ing it to Group 1 level as “spe­cial”.

“There are so many spe­cial things about Winx and this is just one of them,’’ Waller said.

Waller is chas­ing his fifth win this decade in the 1400m weight-for-age race, hav­ing pre­pared Winx to win it in 2016-17 af­ter his suc­cesses with Me­tal Ben­der (2010) and Royal De­scent (2015).

“I take a lot of pride in this race be­cause it has been a good race for us,’’ Waller said.

“We al­ways have a good rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the race.’’

Waller sug­gested he was likely to nom­i­nate D’Ar­gento, Religify, Comin’ Through, Un­for­got­ten and “a cou­ple of stay­ers” to run against Winx on Satur­day.

Mean­while, Neil Wer­rett, fa­mous as the owner of Black Caviar, ad­mit­ted he hoped Winx set a na­tional record on Satur­day.

“It’s life, things change and as far as we are con­cerned we are great ad­mir­ers of Winx and hope she wins to keep it (streak) go­ing,’’ said Wer­rett, who is also a part-owner of Sand­bar, a game win­ner of The Rose­bud on Satur­day.

Wer­rett also re­vealed Black Caviar, who was re­tired un­de­feated af­ter 25 starts, is due to give birth to a foal by I Am In­vin­ci­ble next month.

Godol­phin trainer James Cum­mings dis­missed talk of sta­ble star Ke­men­tari lin­ing up against Winx on Satur­day.

“That is not the plan,’’ said Cum­mings when asked if Ke­men­tari would run in the Winx Stakes. In­stead, Ke­men­tari is likely to race next in the Group 1 Mem­sie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Septem­ber 1.

CON­FI­DENT: Chris Waller.

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