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July 14th, 2018 by admin

Winx needs a hit-out but only two rivals to test her in the Caulfield Stakes

It is almost unheard of at group 1 level, but the Caulfield Stakes will be contested by just three horses, with only two gallopers brave enough to take on Sydney’s wonder mare Winx, who is looking for her 12th consecutive win on Saturday.
Nanjing Night Net

The Caulfield Stakes has a history of attracting small-but-elite fields, particularly when a standout horse is on the scene, most recently when Atlantic Jewel beat just four home in 2013 and So You Think took on five rivals in 2010.

But, even by this race’s standards, a three-horse field will be something to behold, and will be yet another record for Winx, who continues to sweep all before her. Winx, like Black Caviar, is starting to scare her rivals off and at 2000 metres the pool of horses isn’t as deep as it is in the sprinting ranks.

Such is Winx’s star appeal that jockey Hugh Bowman made the trip to Melbourne for her morning gallop before returning to Sydney to win on No Return at Canterbury.

Giving his usual low-key appraisal, Bowman said: “She is going well. It’s a pity that there is only three in the field but she can’t help that and you still have to beat them.”

Bowman hinted that Winx would need the hit-out on Saturday.

“She needs a strong race because it is going to amp right up in a couple of weeks in the Cox Plate,” he said. “She needs to be at her top then.”

Most of Winx’s competition when she defends her Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 22 raced last Saturday, meaning they will have a three-week break heading into the weight-for-age championship.

Before the Moonee Valley slugfest, there is still plenty of interest in the Caulfield Stakes, in which Sydney’s best weight-for-age horse, Winx, will take on the best from Melbourne this spring in Black Heart Bart, which has chalked up two group 1 for the season, including the Underwood Stakes last start.

Interestingly, Black Heart Bart has tightened up with Ladbrokes from $5.50 to $4.60 since betting opened, while Winx has gone from $1.12 to $1.20. Underwood runner-up He Or She is at $31.

Winx’s trainer Chris Waller said the gallop would be a familiarisation process for the mare, which hadn’t been to Caulfield before.

Of the three-horse field, he told reporters in Melbourne: “It makes it easier in terms of interference, there is always an element of luck involved with racing but [it’s] a quality field. The horses that are there deserve to be, it shouldn’t really affect her though, pace-wise, fast or slow she is adaptable so I’m not too concerned.”

Meanwhile, Michelle Payne has been told she can not ride in NSW because of her dual training and riding licence, issued by Racing Victoria, despite being booked for the John McArdle-trained Grey Street at Randwick on Saturday.

“Are they serious?” she wrote in a tweet after the ruling.

Racing authorities permit dual licence-holders, who are registered as a jockey and as a trainer, to ride in Victoria, South Australia and some parts of Queensland. But Racing NSW’s policy does not permit dual licence-holders to ride, recognising them only as trainers.

“It is not about the individual, it is about integrity,” Racing NSW chief steward Marc van Gestel said. “We don’t issue that type of licence in NSW and it is policy that we do not recognise it as a riding licence.

“The reasons are stated in our policy but on race day there is a clear difference in responsibilities for jockeys and trainers and Racing NSW feels you do one job or another.

“A jockey has to be in the jockeys’ room when the horse is being saddled and that holds some concern under the rules in our opinion.”

Payne will have her first runner as a trainer at Cranbourne on Thursday, where she has prepared Queen Of Zealand, which she will also ride, in the opening race.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.