Winx Heads to G1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m)
Champion mare Winx will launch her autumn campaign in the $600,000 TAB G1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) on March 3 at Royal Randwick, Chris Waller has announced.
Originally, the G2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 17 had been slated as her first up target, the race which she has resumed in over the past two years, but with Hugh Bowman unable to maintain her association with Winx there has been a change of plans.
“Hugh Bowman is a very important part of Winx and we feel that we can go straight into the Chipping Norton first up without the need to resume in the Apollo Stakes as we had originally planned,” Waller said in a statement.
“She races well fresh and we are ahead of schedule with her, so I will simply give her a third trial to ensure her fitness levels are high enough to compete at her best in this race.”
Waller continued, “Should Hugh have been suspended in the middle or late in the preparation closer to her significant targets we would have opted to use a suitable replacement rider.”
Meanwhile, TAB will refund all bets placed on Winx in the Apollo Stakes futures market, where she was $1.08 favourite.
The Chipping Norton Stakes is an Australian Turf Club Group 1 Thoroughbred horse race for horses three years old and older, run at weight for age, over a distance of 1600 metres at Randwick Racecourse, Sydney, Australia in February or March. Prizemoney is A$600,000.
The race is major prep race for the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap and Sydney Cup since winners are exempt from ballot for entry into both races.
The race is named after the suburb Chipping Norton located in Liverpool located 27 kilometres south-west of Sydney. The race is usually held together with the Liverpool City Cup as part of the City of Liverpool festivities.
Some outstanding champions have won this race including Phar Lap, Tranquil Star, Bernborough and Tulloch, Super Impose and Tie the Knot who won the race four consecutive times.