After a first-up victory in the Winx stakes, what are some possible directions Winx could head next?
After winning an Epsom and a Doncaster handicap in 2016, Winx’s racing program has been rather tame. Connections not swaying from the Queen Elizabeth (Autumn) and Cox Plate (Spring) main targets despite being invited to compete on the world stage in Royal Ascot.
But now as a 7yo could the mare find herself in unfamiliar territory this spring? And would she be competitive?
Here are some speculative targets;
G1 2000m Flemington:
The Turnbull or Caulfield Stakes will more than likely be Winx’s next Group 1 start. The Turnbull would give her 3 weeks into a Cox Plate and the big spaces of Flemington will give connections a great guide as to where she’s at, as they did last year when she won this race by 6.5L. But the Turnbull is also a brilliant stepping stone into Melbourne’s other Spring Classics. We only have to wind back the clock to 2016 where the quinella produced emphatic Caulfield Cup winner Jameka and Cox Plate/Melbourne Cup placegetter Hartnell who some thought would beat Winx that year. Could this springboard Winx into a different spring campaign?
G1 2040m Moonee Valley:
Already sitting at $1.60* to etch her name into the history books and become the only horse to ever win 4 Cox Plates. Despite a massive increase in prize money to $5 million, the threat of coming to Australia to run for second is probably enough to warn off top-line overseas raiders. Couple this with a local stock lacking depth (if Humidor didn’t beat her last year, he never will) and she’s probably over the line. But could an easy win mean pressing on into the spring?
G1 3200m Flemington:
“Did Winx win the Melbourne Cup?” and “Why doesn't Winx run in the Melbourne Cup?”, are phrases well ingrained in the non-racing public’s vocabulary. But are they so outlandish? Well if history and the connections of the great mare are anything to go by, yes. But could she win the race that stops the nation? In short, yes. The thing that makes Winx special is her ability to hold her top speed for so long, sometimes sustaining a run for 800-1000m. An absolute essential for any run-on horse at Moonee Valley, but also for any top-line stayer. Highly doubtful she’ll line up on the first Tuesday of November this year, but we really wish she did.
Open 1200m Randwick
Current Everest favourite Trapeze Artist’s arguably best performance to date was blitzing a hot field in the Golden Rose over 1400m. That price is indicative of the speed in such a race ensuring the 1200m feels more like 1400. We’ve just seen her win a sharp 1400m event and some of the late sectionals she produces time and time again rank her as good if not better than most sprinters going around at present. The timing of this event and Chris Waller already locking in Brave Smash for his slot all but rules her out this year. But could she win an Everest? Absolutely.
G1 2400m Longchamp:
With the 2018 ‘Arc’ being run in the first weekend of October, there is no way Winx will be heading to France this year. However, after another successful Spring could the 2019 Arc be beckoning? In her first Cox Plate victory, she clocked a time that stands her with the best middle-distance horses in Europe. With the probable soft ground and her unparalleled ability to switch off in the run, there’s a solid case that a fast-run 2400m is right up her alley. It would be quite a sight to see this great mare represent our country on the world stage (and we might even get a backable price!).