Winx has justified her clear favouritism in typically smart fashion at Caulfield this afternoon; posting another win at the highest level in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m).
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Hugh Bowman settled Winx on the heels of Black Heart Bart, who set a noticeably slow tempo from the outset for the field of three.
It looked nothing more than a training gallop as Black Heart Bart, Winx and He Or She approached the bend, but the two multiple Group 1 winners kicked up a gear rounding onto the final straight and left the Lindsay Park galloper lengths off the pace.
Bowman was once again a passenger as Winx comfortably jogged clear; finding the line two lengths ahead of Black Heart Bart; posting her eighth win at the highest level.
Bowman is confident that in being crowned the 2016 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes winner, Winx is primed for a successful defence of the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in a fortnight.
“It was an interesting race,” Bowman said.
“There wasn’t much pace early and everyone predicted that, but there was enough for me to just follow Brad (Rawiller, Black Heart Bart) and he built the speed from about the 1100m mark, which suited me.
“It was still going to be a sprint home and that’s why I pulled out at about the 600m, because I’ve got a healthy respect for my position here today and I thought that if I let him dictate to inside the 600m, maybe I wouldn’t run him down.
“She got a little uncomfortable around the corner which Sydney horses can do here at Caulfield.
“Because I’ve got so much confidence in her, I was able to just help her through that period and wait until she was balanced.
“Bring on the Cox Plate now in two weeks’ time at Moonee Valley.”
Trainer Chris Waller was pleased with Winx’s hit-out this afternoon and is looking forward to her run in the Cox Plate in two weeks’ time.
“The expectations are there for her to win,” Waller said.
“I just think it’s great for racing. I’m not seeing that she’s the be-all and end-all, but there’s some good horses coming together over the next few weeks and I think we’re in for a hell of a carnival.
“I wanted her to win and that’s the only thing I was thinking about. She’s a superior horse.
“She’ll only do what she has to and she’ll be ready to step up in two weeks’ time.”
Winx remains a clear $1.90 favourite in 2016 Cox Plate betting markets with Ladbrokes.com.au following this afternoon’s win in the Ladbrokes Stakes.
2016 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes Results
|1||3||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||3||57kg||$1.24F|
|2||1||BLACK HEART BART||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||2L||1||59kg||$4.80|
|3||2||HE OR SHE||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||6L||2||59kg||$21|