Chris Waller has settled the great debate about where champion racehorse Winx stands in an outstanding era of great mares.
As Winx’s winning streak stretched to 13, talk that she’s the new Black Caviar has been dominant but Waller said he has the utmost respect for the unbeaten champion and is proud that he has a horse good enough to be compared to her.
Waller was speaking after the dual Cox Plate winner completed her first serious test, a pleasing third in a Rosehill barrier trial on Tuesday, ahead of the starring role she’s set to play through the Sydney autumn and The Championships.
“Black Caviar took all before her and the population followed her,’’ Waller said.
“They are starting to get behind Winx but not to the same degree. She’s in the papers, she’s on the television. She’s becoming a household name, she’s making my name.
“It becomes sensitive when comparing good horses. We have to respect Black Caviar for being unbeaten and taking on the best in the world.
“Makybe Diva is a good example of being the best two-miler we’ve ever seen although people older than me can debate that.
“I know we’ve got a pretty good one that could certainly open the batting for Australia.’’
The cricket metaphor aside, Waller said Winx has come back in fantastic shape and it showed as she paraded prior to the 900m trial at Rosehill.
She jumped cleanly and settled fourth in the trial, moved through to second early in the straight as jockey Hugh Bowman kept her under a hold and he finished third behind Doomben 10,000 winner Music Magnate.
Winx will have a second official trial before her scheduled return in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 11.
“There will be a bit of fine-tuning that takes place over the next 24 days,’’ Waller said. “She has as good covering over her body, she’s not too light nor too heavy and is exactly where she needs to be.
“She wasn’t out there to keep her winning record intact, it was just a preseason game for her.
“I want to make sure she gets through the autumn, she’ll be running from the 11th of February right through to the middle of April.’’
Bowman said he couldn’t have asked for anything more from Winx in the trial and is looking forward to the campaign ahead.
“We didn’t ask her to do a whole lot but it was as good as she’s trialled in her career,’’ Bowman said. “She’s moving well and she pulled up well.’’
Waller is clearly feeling a lot less pressure dealing with the Winx phenomenon now than he was a year ago.
While the $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick in April is the autumn goal and a third Cox Plate later in the year is a real possibility Waller said the aim now is to ensure her longevity.
“We are conscious of doing the very best we can and hope she keeps winning for the public,’’ he said. “But at the same time it is a sporting event and things can happen. Whether it is 14, 15, 16 wins we’ll do the best we can and hope we can keep it intact.
“We don’t need to make her go faster, just keep her the way she is and she will keep winning.’’ – News.com.au