Winx is destined to face the final curtain when an unparalleled racing career draws to a close in Sydney next autumn.
The $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick in April during The Championships will provide the ideal stage for an emotional finale.
Not to appear during Melbourne Cup week at Flemington, Winx will be turned out for a break though it is likely she will come back at year’s end to prepare another campaign — on a race-by-race basis.
Chris Waller said Winx “will be a mum, it’s just a matter of when”. But she won’t be covered this year.
Waller revealed yesterday that a conversation was had six weeks ago with the owners and it was decided as long as certain criteria were met she would press on to, and beyond, the Cox Plate.
Essentially, the owners were on board so long as Waller and jockey Hugh Bowman were satisfied with Winx at every stage. Though Winx shows no signs of her ability waning, Waller sees the need to call time before the choice is forced upon them.
“We’ll sit down and have a proper chat and she’ll tick all the boxes, but we might have to intervene at some stage and label a race as her last race. I have no idea where it would be. I’d love it to be a certain race at the end of the carnival at The Championships,” Waller said on Sky Sports Radio.
“I dare not say that because it’s not fair on the horse, and the people that start betting on these races, they shouldn’t bet because we could pull the pin at any stage.”
So what now for Winx?
“She’ll be vetted in the next week. We picked up a bone chip a few years ago and she had a small procedure to remove it,” Waller said.
Winx will then be turned out on the spring grass and return to the stable, all outward signs being right, just before Christmas.
Waller was composed the morning after Winx registered her fourth Cox Plate success and stretched her winning sequence to 29. The mare’s Group I tally now stands at 22 and her prizemoney is just shy of $23 million.
“To get to race day is a relief. Winx makes us all look good. Realistically, we are the only ones that have control of buggering it up,” Waller said.
Asked to rank the four Cox Plates, he was diplomatic.
“It’s hard to quantify them. How can you take away the first Cox Plate and what it meant at the time? They’re all very special moments.”
Benbatl, who was stalked by Winx throughout the race and came home a game second, will now head off to Dubai where he will compete during the World Cup carnival. – The Australian