Chris Waller has masterminded a four-year winning streak with Winx but the focus is now “not to bugger it up” in her Queen Elizabeth Stakes farewell at Randwick on Saturday.
Winx will fill Randwick on Saturday, like in the days of Phar Lap, Tulloch and Kingston Town. They won’t be there for the glorious smorgasbord of racing which includes the Australian Oaks, Coolmore Legacy and Sydney Cup.
They will be there for Winx. To see her 33rd straight win, 25th group 1 and 37th victory overall and another Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“The intensity is quite an amazing at the moment. We don’t have to do too much more to make sure it’s the fairytale ending,” Waller said after Winx’s stroll around Randwick on Saturday. "We just don't want to bugger it up now.
“Obviously she’s got a similar following [to last year]. Obviously it’s broadened a bit more with the international and general public in Australia having just picked her up more so in the last 12 months.
“That expectation is no different to a punter having his last $10 on a horse having a maiden race at Kembla but obviously you’re hearing a lot more about it.”
Winx had first use of the Randwick track on Saturday and ran her final 600m in 34.67 seconds. That was only bettered by two horses during the afternoon and she looked to do it with ease.
“It was a very straight-forward piece of work and I think she pulled up better than I did,” jockey Hugh Bowman said. “About 85 per cent over the last 400 to 600.”
It has become Waller's usual preparation when Winx has a three-week break between runs.
“It will just tighten her up a little bit and to the real-trained eye she’ll look spot on next week. To the normal eye, and I’ll almost be included in that, she won’t look any different,” Waller said. “But it will just help.
“From a mental perspective she’s come out and had a great experience and enjoyed herself.”
Winx will look for third Queen Elizabeth Stakes victory on Saturday in a race that dates back to the beginning of racing at Randwick, being first run in 1851 before the first Melbourne Cup.
With victory she will join 1867 Melbourne Cup winner Tim Whiffler, which was first three-time winner of the race. She will match Carbine, which won the race in three consecutive years, while David and Tulloch also won it three times.
The honour roll also includes Phar Lap, Peter Pan, Flight and, after the name change in 1954 to honour the monarch, greats like Rough Habit, Might And Power, Lonhro and More Joyous.
Winx already has a place besides them but Waller is making sure she is fine tuned for a last grand appearance.
“It’s perfect,” he said after the gallop. “That’s been Winx and that’s why she’s been so great, she makes it all look pretty easy.
“It’s not as straight-forward as that but eight days out she’s had the lead-up races which have gone to plan and everything else is straight-forward.
“With three weeks between runs you have a week to come down, a week to build up a little bit and then that last week gets quite intense.
“Little things like this and even Thursday’s media morning ... it’s so important just to help keep calm ... not over-train them, and not over stress.”
Aricle courtesy of Nine and The Brisbane Times