Punt Racing

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Winx has 21st Group One win in sights

Mathew Toogood


Champion Winx is a short-priced favourite to claim her 21st Group One win and stretch her winning sequence to 28 in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.

Another 21st milestone is on the cards for champion Winx when she races at Flemington for the second time.

A year ago Winx streeted her rivals to win the Turnbull Stakes by 6-1/2 lengths to register her 21st consecutive victory on her way to a third Cox Plate win at Moonee Valley three weeks later.

Her winning streak has continued and now sits at 27.

Winx will be racing as the long odds-on favourite in her defence of the Turnbull on Saturday which would be her 21st victory at Group One level.

She is also odds-on to again be named Australia's Horse of the Year in Melbourne on Thursday night.

Winx has nine rivals in the 2000m-race, including eight she has never raced against.

It will be her final lead-in to her planned bid for an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate on October 27.

Her trainer Chris Waller is thrilled with the way Winx has settled back into the trainer's Flemington stable since travelling from Sydney early last week.

"Obviously she has been there for the past three years and it is like a second home to her," Waller said.

Winx has had a couple of Flemington course proper gallops in the past week and is expected to have a light hit-out on Thursday morning to keep her ticking over for the Turnbull in which she will jump from barrier eight.

"She seemed so at home last year when running at Flemington for the first time and it just seems to be a natural galloping track for horses to jump, find their rhythm and steadily build momentum," Waller said.

"I am really looking forward to getting her there on Saturday. She looks in very good condition. Her spring coat is starting to come through now and she has dappled up."

Among the champion's rivals will be stablemate Youngstar, winner of this year's Group One Queensland Oaks who will carry 2.5kg less than Winx on Saturday and is on a path towards the Caulfield Cup (2400m).

"I would just like to see her be competitive," Waller said.

"She is getting up to a more suitable distance and is racing against some nice horses who are also heading towards similar targets as her.

"It will give me a good guide as to what to expect in the Caulfield Cup in two weeks' time."

Winx was at $1.15 on Wednesday with Caulfield Cup favourite Kings Will Dream and dual Flemington Group One winner Grunt next at $11.

Two-time Caulfield Cup-winning jockey Craig Williams will ride Kings Will Dream in a race for the first time in preparation for taking the mount in the Caulfield Cup.