Winx ticked off another faultless autumn campaign in style on Saturday as the champion mare sets her sights on a third Cox Plate but not before a well-earned holiday.
Winx pulled up an absolute treat after claiming her 17th straight win in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick and will head to the spelling farm this week “in the best condition she has gone to it in”.
So where does our Queen of the turf enjoy her biannual holiday?
“It’s about 90 minutes out of Sydney,” Waller said.
“It’s a nice secluded place and it’s picture perfect.
“It wouldn’t look out of place on a postcard and that’s her holiday destination of choice and the security is good.”
Unlike recent preparations, Winx finished her racing campaign on Saturday completely injury free.
“They don’t have a long time out but they enjoy it and it’s great seeing her going to the paddock sound,” Waller said.
“She did have to have an operation after last autumn (bone chip removed) and she got galloped on after the Cox Plate (last spring) and was on quite heavy antibiotics for about 10 days after her win in the Cox Plate.
“As a younger horse she was a growing young lady, so she goes to the spelling farm in the best condition she has gone to it in and how good is that.
“I couldn’t believe how well she looked (Sunday).”
Waller will start planning Winx’s spring campaign in the coming weeks but revealed he felt a weight lift off his shoulders after her Queen Elizabeth Stakes triumph.
“In a huge way,” he said.
“That’s what makes the pressure so intense, it’s not about the week before the Queen Elizabeth, it’s the first week, it’s the fifth week, it’s the ninth week, it’s the first trial, it’s the first-up run and it’s relentless.
“I’ve been looking forward to the Longines Queen Elizabeth for various reasons and one of them is to get to (Sunday).”
Waller said Winx will have a similar spring campaign to last year and will resume mid-August (she resumed in the Warwick Stakes last August) but hinted her final Cox Plate lead up run could be on Everest Day at Randwick on October 14 instead of the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes in Melbourne a week earlier.
“We will allow for four runs before the Cox Plate like we did last spring and we missed the Chelmsford because of the wet weather,” he said.
“It will be pretty standard but with the talk of the (Group 3) Craven Plate possibly being moved to Everest Day … I would say it would be great for racing to have her a part of that big day.
“It’s either the Caulfield Stakes or (potentially the Craven Plate if it’s moved).”
Waller said there had been no discussion on when Winx would retire and said travelling overseas to take on the world next year was still an option.
“We just need to work out what sacrifices we are making,” he said.
“She could go (overseas) next week to race but it would jeopardise her defending her title in the Cox Plate, so it won’t happen.
“Beyond that, if we’re lucky enough to win three Cox Plates are we willing to make more sacrifices and are we prepared to travel for just one or two races and then come back knowing she has to go to two hemispheres- there and back and go through quarantine.
“It has to be respected that she is a horse and not a robot.” – The Daily Telegraph