Winx on song as Chau­tauqua’s career hangs the bal­ance

The Sportsman Midweek - - Canterbury Preview -

CHAM­PION Winx has shown all the right signs she is on tar­get for an­other spring cam­paign in a soft bar­rier trial at Rose­hill.

While most eyes were on the great mare on Mon­day, those look­ing for Chau­tauqua were dis­ap­pointed with the world’s for­mer best sprinter again re­fus­ing to jump field in the same heat.

If Chau­tauqua is to race again he must suc­cess­fully come out of the gates in two fur­ther tri­als.

Winx’s jockey Hugh Bow­man said mare was a lit­tle anx­ious in the stalls but jumped well and pleased him with how she fin­ished.

She was wide early in what Bow­man be­lieved was the worst part of the track so he eased her back.

“She was a lit­tle edgy in the gates which is not un­usual but jumped very well and felt su­perb in the trial,” Bow­man said.

“I can only judge her by her tem­per­a­ment and ac­tion and today sug­gested to me that she’s ex­cited to be back. I couldn’t fault her.

“We’ve never seen her per­form at her best in tri­als. This morn­ing was about go­ing through the mo­tions and re­leas­ing that ner­vous energy.”

Trainer Chris Waller ad­mit­ted to a few nerves of his own pre-trial.

“I had bit of ner­vous energy my­self,” he said.

“It (the trial) will help me set­tle down.

“We still have a bit of fine-tun­ing to do with Winx.

“She will an­other trial in a cou­ple of weeks and then race in the Winx Stakes on the 18th of Au­gust.

“Af­ter that she will go to the Ge­orge Main and then we’ll de­cide whether stays in Syd­ney or heads to Mel­bourne.”

The Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) was formerly the Group 2 War­wick Stakes which mare has won for the past two years.

Waller said lure of an un­prece­dented fourth Cox Plate was in the back of his and Winx’s own­ers’ minds but no risks would be taken.

“We are just tak­ing it one run at a time,” he said.

“We’re con­scious she is in the twi­light of her career.”

Winx will of­fi­cially turn seven on Au­gust 1, the des­ig­nated birth­day for all south­ern hemi­sphere thor­ough­breds.

Al­most for­got­ten in the drama of the trial, it was won by 2017 Golden Slip­per win­ner She Will Reign who surged to beat Take­down with Ke­men­tari third.

The trio is likely meet again in the Group 2 Mis­sile Stakes (1200m) at Rand­wick on Satur­day week..

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