Putting up white flag to Winx
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