Putting up white flag to Winx

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Racing -

TRAINER Ger­ald Ryan had a one-word an­swer at the ready when asked why Trapeze Artist would not be con­test­ing the Group 2 Apollo Stakes at Royal Rand­wick on Satur­day: “Winx!”

Ryan can’t see the point of send­ing out classy sprinter Trapeze Artist to at­tempt what has be­come rac­ing’s ver­sion of mis­sion im­pos­si­ble in try­ing to end Winx’s fa­mous win­ning streak.

With cham­pion mare Winx about to chase her 30th con­sec­u­tive win when she runs in the Apollo Stakes, Ryan has changed his race plans for Trapeze Artist.

Al­though Ryan said Trapeze Artist, a three-time Group 1 win­ner of more than $5.2 mil­lion prize­money, had pulled up well af­ter his come­back fourth to Al­izee in the Ex­press­way Stakes, the four-year-old won’t race again for a month.

“He will have two bar­rier tri­als then race next in the Can­ter­bury Stakes on March 9,’’ Ryan said.

Winx is ex­pected to have only a hand­ful of ri­vals in the Apollo Stakes, in­clud­ing Happy Clap­per and pos­si­bly Hart­nell.

Chris Waller, trainer of Winx, in­di­cated he was likely to have “five or six en­tries” for the Apollo — Un­for­got­ten, Egg Tart and End­less Drama among them.

Winx, jointly awarded the 2018 World’s Best Race­horse ti­tle with Eng­land’s Cracks­man last month, tuned up for the start of what will be her fi­nal race cam­paign with a pleas­ing ex­hi­bi­tion gal­lop at Royal Rand­wick last Satur­day morn­ing.

Waller was re­lieved when reg­u­lar race jockey Hugh Bow­man gave Winx a glow­ing ap­praisal af­ter the work­out.

“It is the busi­ness end of Winx’s ca­reer the next few weeks; her fans ex­pect her to win ev­ery time,’’ Waller said.

“So, to get the right feed­back from the jockey, her strap­pers, far­rier, vet, the den­tist, her physio, even the truck driver to make sure she is happy on the truck, this is all im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion.

“This week will be pretty straight­for­ward. She won’t have to do much hard work dur­ing the week, we will keep things sim­ple.

“We know we are go­ing to the race well pre­pared, not go­ing to the race or the game un­der­pre­pared be­cause that makes it harder and more stress­ful for ev­ery­one in­volved. A trou­ble-free preparation will see the week go pretty smoothly.’’

• • • DUAL Ever­est win­ner Redzel and crack colts The Au­tumn Sun and Zou­sain are among the po­ten­tial au­tumn car­ni­val con­tenders con­test­ing cru­cial bar­rier tri­als at Rose­hill Gar­dens this morn­ing.

Redzel, The Au­tumn Sun and Zou­sain are due to clash in the open­ing heat over 1000m. But train­ers Peter and Paul Snow­den have also en­tered Redzel for a 900m trial later in the morn­ing.

Redzel is ex­pected to con­test the shorter heat given this is his first bar­rier trial of the preparation. The $15.3 mil­lion earner will have an­other trial be­fore re­sum­ing in the Group 2 Chal­lenge Stakes (1000m) at Rand­wick on March 10.

Tas­sort, the un­beaten Godol­phin colt and early Golden Slip­per favourite, will line up in a 900m heat in preparation for his come­back in the Group 2 Sil­ver Slip­per at Rose­hill on Fe­bru­ary 23.

Hugh Bow­man aboard Winx af­ter the mare’s ex­hi­bi­tion gal­lop at Royal Rand­wick on Satur­day, and (in­set) trainer Ger­ald Ryan. Pic­tures: Getty, AAP

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