Waller: Winx 'ahead of schedule,' not slowing down

January 09, 2019 09:46am
Jockey Hugh Bowman and Winx
Photo: Sharon Lee Champan

Trainer Chris Waller has Australian champion Winx gearing up for another season -- and perhaps a farewell season -- of racing. With the mare now 8, Waller told the Sydney Morning Herald that "any signs of her slowing aren't there."

Winx has won 29 consecutive races, 12 of them at the Group 1 level, and her historical run has kept even American fans up into the early hours of the morning to watch her races in real time. 

The extended race career and continuous success earned Winx the Secretariat Vox Populi Award. She was the top choice among both American and international voters, and her connections will be on hand Saturday at Santa Anita Park to receive their trophy.

Winx is also tied with Ascot’s Champions Stakes winner, Cracksman, as the Longines World’s Best Racehorse. The 2018 award winner will be announced Jan. 23 in London. 

The mare’s popularity is not the end goal for Waller, though.

“What I’m looking for her to get is the credit for being around for so long," the conditioner told the Sydney Morning Herald

“We have made decisions to pull up when we could have gone another run. Not to take her overseas and doing certain things that would not make it harder for her.

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

Winx became the first horse to win the Cox Plate four times, doing so in consecutive years. Her win streak spans back to 2015, and Waller is looking at a familiar campaign starting with the Apollo Stakes Feb. 16 at Royal Randwick, the Chipping Norton Stakes March 2 at the same track, the George Ryder March 18 at Rosehill Gardens and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes April 13 back at Randwick.

Winx is likely to have a barrier trial Jan. 15 at Rosehill, but Waller also said he thinking on a public gallop before the Apollo Stakes after a couple trials.

“She is probably four days ahead of schedule this year,” he said, “and we could sneak an exhibition gallop in with her.”

 

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