Champion mare Winx competes in a barrier trial at Randwick Racecourse
Champion mare Winx competes in a barrier trial at Randwick Racecourse BRENDAN ESPOSITO

Winx to shoot for 18th straight win from barrier two in Warwick Stakes

WINX is on track to start the shortest price in her decorated career at Randwick this Saturday as comparisons continue to be made with the legendary Kingston Town.

Rival trainer Gai Waterhouse, who will saddle up Ecuador against Winx in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes, gets a kick out of watching the champion mare race and said Winx had that Kingston Town aura about her.

"Kingston Town was a phenomenon and she is a phenomenon," Waterhouse said.

"They are the same aren't they and they are both great horses that are impossible to beat and it's really exciting she is at Randwick on Saturday.

"She is a remarkable racehorse that you just dream about having. We are so privileged to have her, one, in NSW and, two, in Australia.

"I get a real kick out of watching her race and watching her connections (enjoy the ride) as well and it's lovely for them.”

Winx opened $1.08 after the final Warwick Stakes field was declared yesterday and quickly firmed into $1.06 after one TAB punter had $61,600 at $1.08 on Winx to profit just $4928. The world's highest-rated horse on turf will jump from barrier two in the eight-horse field.

The shortest price Winx has started in her career was $1.09 in the George Main Stakes last September.

"If Winx was going to show any vulnerability, you'd think it would be first-up,” the TAB's Gerard Middleton said. "But she just has no weakness.

"This is by far her shortest quote of her fresh runs but we expect to lay plenty of big bets as she's just that popular, no matter the price.”

Winx's bid for 18 straight wins became that little bit easier when her biggest rival, Invincible Gem, decided not to accept for the Warwick Stakes because Winx was in the race.

Bookmakers rated Invincible Gem the clear best chance to topple Winx in all-in markets earlier in the week but trainer Kris Lees said he was happy to wait for a race a fortnight later rather than face the great mare.

"Invincible Gem came through her first-up (win in the Missile Stakes) well and I just didn't want to take on Winx,” Lees said.

"She will trial on Monday and then go to the Tramway Stakes (on September 2).”

Winx's stablemates Antonio Giuseppe and Foxplay, and the Team Hawkes-trained Inference, are considered the best chances of knocking off Winx on Saturday at $17 each.

The Waterhouse-trained Ecuador is a $26 chance.

"I would like to think he could run second to her and you can't see yourself beating Winx,” Waterhouse said.

"He will certainly run well, though.”

Winx won the Warwick Stakes by 3½ lengths last August and is on track to equal Kingston Town's record of three Cox Plates in October.

Winx is also trying to replace dirt horse Arrogate as the highest-rated horse in the world this spring.

Winx's shortest odds of her career

  • $1.06 2017 Warwick Stakes

$1.09 2016 George Main Stakes

$1.12 2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes

$1.14 2017 Apollo Stakes

$1.22 2017 Chipping Norton Stakes

$1.24 2016 Caulfield Stakes

$1.24 2016 Warwick Stakes 

$1.26 2017 George Ryder Stakes

$1.35 2016 Chipping Norton Stakes

  • $1.50 2017 Cox Plate
  • Current TAB odds for upcoming races.

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