EQUINE phenomenon Winx’s farewell tour is coming to a nervous, high-stakes finale that has the racing world on the edge of its seat.
The seven-year-old mighty mare is starting as the impossible $1.06 favourite for Saturday’s George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill in Sydney — where she will again carry the enormity of her 31-race win streak.
The Group 1 $1 million (1500m) weight for age classic is all but certain to be Winx’s farewell race from the Rosehill track — the venue she has called home throughout her career.
It is also expected to be Winx’s second final run after trainer Chris Waller’s declaration earlier this year that the autumn carnival would likely be the bay mare’s final preparation before she finishes her famous career at the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on April 13.
A George Ryder victory will give Winx a record unlikely to be equalled of four successive wins in three Group 1 races, the Cox Plate and Chipping Norton Stakes being the other two.
Waller says the mare is “picture perfect” and admits he is trying to leave emotion out of his team’s preparations for Winx’s final run in western Sydney.
“Rosehill has been her place of training for the majority of her career and it’s where she lives. So it’s her home track,” Waller said.
“It’s very likely it will be her last run here. I think there’s more thought, however, going into the actual race and just preparing her and making sure she’s 100 per cent.
“We’ll get sentimental after the race, no doubt, but at this stage it’s full steam ahead for Rosehill on Saturday which looks to be a great day.
“The Golden Slipper day is always a big day in Australian racing and to have Winx there is an added bonus, I’m sure..
“The beauty of training Winx is that she is effective in all track conditions and we are certainly unsure of how the track will dry out ahead of Saturday’s race but it could well stay in the heavy range.”
-full report on news.com.au
-Photo: Winx after her Thursday workout. (Daily Telegraph)