Winx is still show­ing the same zest for rac­ing she al­ways as

The Sportsman Midweek - - News - CARYL WIL­LIAMSON

TRAINER Chris Waller is buoy­ant about Winx’s up­com­ing cam­paign de­spite his orig­i­nal cau­tion whether she would in­deed have a fi­nal prepa­ra­tion.

Af­ter ob­serv­ing the cham­pion in the sta­ble for past three weeks, Waller says she seems as good as ever and is on track to re­turn in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes on Fe­bru­ary 16.

Be­fore she races she will tune up with two bar­rier tri­als, the first likely on Tues­day week.

“She’s re­ally well,” Waller said. “She had three gal­lops. Amaz­ingly, she is show­ing the same keen­ness and en­thu­si­asm for her work as al­ways.

“It is quite un­be­liev­able. Any signs of age­ing aren’t there. Any of her slow­ing down aren’t there.

“She is as good as we can have her.”

Waller said Winx had re­turned to Rose­hill with resid­ual fit­ness af­ter her record fourth Cox Plate win in Oc­to­ber.

“She keeps her­self in check. She’s an amaz­ing ath­lete,” he said.

“You hear of horses go­ing out for spell and get­ting heavy, putting on con­di­tion, but she seems to look af­ter her­self.

“Ev­ery­one at Her­mitage and my team do ev­ery­thing we can to look af­ter her but re­al­is­ti­cally it comes down to her, she is just mar­vel­lous.”

That abil­ity keep re­tain her fit­ness is some­thing her trainer be­lieves has kept rac­ing as a seven-year-old when many other mares are in the brood­mare barn.

“I’m look­ing for her to get the credit for be­ing around for so long,” Waller said.

“We have made those de­ci­sions to pull up when we could have gone an­other run, or not to take her over­seas, do­ing cer­tain things that would have made it hard.

“But I think Winx will be re­mem­bered not only for be­ing a great horse but for a great horse for a long time and that is what sin­gles her out.”

Af­ter the Apollo, Winx is sched­uled to de­fend the Group 1 tre­ble of Chip­ping Nor­ton, Ge­orge Ry­der and Queen El­iz­a­beth Stakes.

She is ex­pected to again be confirmed the world’s best horse on turf for 2018 and seems a shoo-in

a fourth Aus­tralian Horse- ofthe-Year ti­tle bar­ring the emer­gence of the next su­per­star with the big­gest con­tender Winx’s sta­ble­mate, triple Group 1 win­ner The Au­tumn Sun.

“He has come back 20 kilo­grams heav­ier,” Waller said.

needed to grow and de­velop. His man­ners are fan­tas­tic and you would not know he is a stal­lion.”

The Au­tumn Sun has the Rand­wick Guineas as a tar­get with Royal As­cot a temp­ta­tion if he does as well as pre­dicted.

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