Trainer Chris Waller is set to launch a three-pronged attack on Saturday’s 2016 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) but is understandably confident Winx will figure as the horse to beat in the featured Group 1 race.
Winx was undoubtedly the standout performer for Waller through the recent Spring Carnival and capped her incredible and unbeaten campaign with a dominant win in the talent-rich Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 24th.
Having returned this time for wins in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), Waller told AAP the Street Cry mare has taken plenty of benefit from her two runs this time and is primed for another big performance in the 2016 George Ryder Stakes.
“She has surprised me with how well she has held her weight,” Waller said.
“She is the same as she was at her first and second runs which is a very good sign.
“This is the obvious race for her at 1500 metres with the possibility of backing up in the Doncaster before the Queen Elizabeth.”
Waller will also saddle champion three-year-old Press Statement and two-time Group 1 winner Kermadec in the 2016 George Ryder Stakes and is confident all runners are ready to perform.
“Hugh (Bowman) was very happy with his work (Press Statement) saying that he has come on nicely since his last start and will certainly provide good competition for Winx on Saturday,” Waller said.
“Kermadec also worked strongly this morning and his work was pleasing.”
Winx has been a strong and consistent performer for Waller through her entire racing career so far and has posted a commendable eleven wins and three minors through only seventeen competitive starts.
Capping a strong autumn and winter campaign in 2015 with a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m), Winx returned in spring for success in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) before producing a strong turn of foot to comfortably win the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) in what was her only other start prior to the Cox Plate.
The 2016 George Ryder Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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