Winx firming for shot at Emirates

THE odds are improving, albeit slightly, that Winx may race again this spring.

Trainer Chris Waller on Tuesday rated Winx's chances as "50-50" of starting in the Group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 11.

This compares to the "40-60" Waller mentioned about Winx's spring campaign continuing after the champion mare completed her Cox Plate three-peat last Saturday.

The Victoria Racing Club is sweating on a final decision whether racing's biggest drawcard Winx runs during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Waller said at Flemington trackwork on Tuesday morning he will make an announcement on Winx's immediate racing future as early as Wednesday.

"There has been no decision on the Emirates Stakes just yet,'' Waller said. "All I can tell you is Winx has pulled up well from the Cox Plate.

Chris Waller is still weighing up whether Winx will race again this spring.
Chris Waller is still weighing up whether Winx will race again this spring.

"She went into the Cox Plate weighing 526kg and came out exactly the same weight, which is quite remarkable, because she puts so much effort into her races.

"This tells me she is fit and recovering quickly from her races, and her feed bin is left clean which shows she is coping well.

"We gave her a couple of days at the beach since the Cox Plate and this morning she went out onto the track for a light jog and she looks picture perfect.''

Waller admitted he has not had a chance to discuss Winx's Cox Plate win and future plans for the great mare with jockey Hugh Bowman or the mare's owners, Peter Tighe and Debbie Kepitis.

"I hope to meet up with them in the next day or two and I will put all the 'cards' on the table,'' Waller said. "We need to consider if she goes to the Emirates it will be her sixth run this preparation which is the most she has had so far.

Winx has come through her Cox Plate win in great order.
Winx has come through her Cox Plate win in great order.

"We will make a joint decision that takes into account the longevity of the horse and also for her fans. It is important Winx runs well for her fans every start.''

Waller admitted he is only just starting to appreciate the significance of Winx's third successive Cox Plate win.

"Watching her win a third Cox Plate was something very special,'' Waller said. "The win of Winx was about repaying her fans and what she is bringing to the racing industry.

"We are still enjoying the moment - it hasn't really sunk in yet.''

Waller is chasing more Group 1 glory at Flemington on Saturday with Tangled his stable's only runner in the $1.5 million Victoria Derby (2500m).

Tangled worked strongly under race jockey Blake Shinn at Flemington trackwork on Tuesday with Waller confirming the colt will race in winkers in the Derby.

Waller was still determining whether Egg Tart or Omei Sword run in either the Myer Classic or the Kennedy Mile, but said Foxplay will take her place in the Myer.

In other stable news, Waller has locked in his Melbourne Cup jockeys with Tommy Berry riding Who Shot Thebarman and Dwayne Dunn on Libran.



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