Winx will not take her place in Saturday’s featured 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick after trainer Chris Waller confirmed the champion mare will return to the paddock, with a view towards the Spring Carnival.
Winx has been the standout performer of the Australian racing circuit through the last 12 months and has posted nine-consecutive wins most recently, highlighted by an impressive six Group 1 titles and culminating in a current rating of 126.
Having charged home to win the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) in a typically impressive display last weekend, Waller told AAP the mare is not at 100% and will return for a spell rather than progressing to the 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Day 2 of The Championships.
“The decision has been made by the owners and myself in a joint agreement to send Winx for a break as we are a little concerned that the winning run in the Doncaster Handicap did require a lot of effort,” Waller said.
“Looking at her this morning, I, as the trainer can see a horse that although she is at 90 per cent we don’t feel she is 100 per cent of her normal self.
“She is a horse that has exceptional talent but I feel she only has this talent due to the amount of effort she puts into her races.
“Expecting her to back up after a tough run in the Doncaster in a seven-day period and running against a 2000m weight-for-age field would just be expecting too much of a horse that puts so much determination into her races.
“We would like to thank all the public and media for all their support of Winx over the past few weeks and look forward to your continued support in the spring with a horse that we are very proud of.”
Winx has been a strong and consistent performer through her entire career since first appearing on course competitively in 2014; posting thirteen wins and three minors through nineteen 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 taking out each of the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
Resuming this year to win the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 13th, the Street Cry mare repeated the dose in each of the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) leading into her Doncaster Mile triumph.