Winx ready for return in 2016 Warwick Stakes Field

A Group One field will take on Winx in the Warwick Stakes as the mare makes her first racetrack appearance in the lead-up to her Cox Plate defence.

Despite some controversy during the week when it was revealed Winx had had a bone chip removed in April, trainer Chris Waller said she was in fine form heading to Saturday’s Group Two race over 1400 metres.

As a precursor to the spring, Winx was taken to the raceday stalls at Rosehill on Saturday to re-acquaint herself with the atmosphere.

Waller said the bone chip surgery was minor.

“The vet’s report was that it was `long-standing and non-clinical and there were no signs of heat, lameness or pain’,” Waller said.

“We are just looking after her longevity.”

Winx has been given an easy time in two barrier trials leading up to Saturday’s Group Two Warwick Stakes (1400m) and her opposition is expected to include four of her Group One winning stablemates – Vanbrugh, Preferment, Grand Marshal and Who Shot Thebarman.

“I couldn’t be happier with all of them,” Waller said.

After she racked up her sixth Group One win in the Doncaster Mile, Waller decided Winx would not run in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes a week later.

Sydney’s richest race was won in her absence by Lucia Valentina who will be entered for the Warwick Stakes as will Rebel Dane, second to Tycoon Tara as favourite in the Missile Stakes on his return.

Trainer Gary Portelli said he believed a firmer track this week would be an advantage for Rebel Dane but the presence of Winx would not.

“There’s not much we can do about it but this week the pressure won’t be on me,” he said.

“Rebel Dane is bigger and better than he has been in past preparations.

“Usually in the spring we have taken him to Melbourne for his early runs and brought him back each time.

“This time we decided to keep him here for the early races hoping he would be up and running before all the good horses got back.

“It hasn’t quite worked out that way but I’m very happy with him and the way he’s going.”

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