Winx returns in the Winx Stakes at Randwick tonight

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

August 17th, 2018

The world’s highest rated horse, Winx, launches her seven-year-old campaign at Randwick tonight at 1 a.m. (EDT).

The superstar lines up as a two-time defending champion of the Warwick (G2), now dubbed the Winx (G1), and trainer Chris Waller is sounding in bullish mood. (See for the full Winx preview, including her barrier trial videos and salient quotes.)

As the winner of 25 straight, equaling Black Caviar’s mark that she seeks to surpass tonight with number 26, #10 Winx is ever hard to oppose unless your contrarian streak is deep, wide, and brave. It might be worth remembering that she was nearly upset in this race last year, when she fluffed the start and just prevailed by a head from stablemate Foxplay. Although Winx is reportedly in outstanding shape, and sharper, coming into her three-peat bid, this about seven-furlong trip is the absolute minimum for her. In other words, if you wanted to try to catch her out, this is the place.

Godolphin has seized the chance with highly regarded #7 Kementari (15-2), pitched in by trainer James Cummings after stablemate Alizee was sidelined. The winner of the Randwick Guineas (G1) is the obvious alternative, and it would be an instant career-maker for the homebred son of Lonhro.

Two of the bigger prices worth a look underneath are Winx’s stablemates #9 D’Argento (25-1) and #11 Unforgotten (66-1). Both scored their signature wins over farther, D’Argento in the Rosehill Guineas (G1) and Unforgotten in the Australian Oaks (G1), but have the ability to get involved at this trip.

Unforgotten remains interesting, despite the fact she started her build-up to the Caulfield Cup (G1) a little behind. Aside from the high odds available on potentially the next star filly for Waller, the daughter of Fastnet Rock gets in with the lightest weight (124 pounds, in receipt of six from the older males and five from fellow four-year-olds Kementari and D’Argento), and she defeated males in the about 7 1/2-furlong Phar Lap (G2) last March. Note that last year’s near-misser, Foxplay, had likewise beaten the boys earlier in the year in the 2017 Phar Lap. Unforgotten is a different type, but the general point stands.

As a closer effective going much longer, Unforgotten needed every yard to get up in the Phar Lap, and she’ll be pace dependent at a half-furlong shorter in her comeback here. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see her outperform her price and add value to the exotics.

Check out the free Brisnet international PPs in the handicapping section for more details.

Winx photo courtesy of Australian Turf Club via Twitter