Winx’s opposition in the George Main Stakes field has dwindled but that doesn’t mean Chris Waller will take the race lightly.
The trainer says he respects all the horses Winx runs against and tries to prepare for an upset but bookmakers cannot see her beaten at Randwick on Saturday.
After Tosen Stardom was taken out on Friday, Winx firmed from $1.15 to $1.10 with Le Romain to also come out on race day after running second to Chetwood in the Cameron Handicap at Newcastle.
Waller admits to being nervous when Winx runs, with the last parts of her races the only time to be reassured.
“She wins her races in the last 200 metres,” Waller said.
“She gets herself out of awkward positions and it’s not until that last bit where she can use that finish that you can see if she’s going to win.
“She has an amazing will to win which is what gets her out of any trouble she might find earlier in a race.”
Former Japanese horse Tosen Stardom is now trained by Darren Weir for Australian Bloodstock and connections were hoping to use the George Main to test him against Winx ahead of the Cox Plate.
But when he was offloaded in Sydney after the trip from Melbourne, he was found to have cut a foreleg which, although not too serious, needed to be stitched.
It was a double blow for Weir with Signoff missing his Randwick assignment in the Hill Stakes after knocking his leg before he could get on the float.
The second equal favourite for the Melbourne Cup, Signoff will also need a few days to recover.
Australian Derby winner Tavago also stayed in Victoria to run in the Underwood Stakes instead of the Group Two Hill Stakes leaving Hartnell the short-priced favourite at $1.40.
Trained by John O’Shea for Godolphin, Hartnell finished second to Winx in the Warwick Stakes before a devastating win in the Chelmsford Stakes in her absence because of the heavy track.
“His win the other day had to be seen to be believed,” O’Shea’s assistant Darren Beadman said.
“His two runs back this spring have been first class.
“He has thrived since and is getting out to a trip that is really to his liking.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au