Breakfast with Winx at The Valley
Source: Andrew Eddy, Racing.com //
In five days’ time, they are likely to be in raptures as Winx thunders down the straight in her third Cox Plate but on Tuesday morning’s Breakfast With The Best, the crowd barely made a noise.
Early morning starts can do that and so can the presence of superstars.
Hundreds turned out to watch Hugh Bowman partner Winx in her work at about 6.25am and she got close enough to top speed for the crowd to see her fluid motion and effortless action, finishing off a 1200-metre gallop with a comfortable 23.86s for her final 400 metres.
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But, as trainer Chris Waller marvelled later at a press conference, the silence was deafening and certainly something he is not used to when he unveils his champion.
“As she came up the straight you could have heard a pin drop,” he noted. “It was quite an eerie feeling.
“I was sort of thinking last night I wonder what people are going to do when she goes onto the track. Are they going to upset her? Are they going to clap when she comes up the straight?
“But people were very polite which was fantastic as it was a very serious piece of work this morning.”
“It’s quite humbling the turnout,” he said of the hundreds that jammed together around stable 54 as Winx was being saddled.
Saturday’s race is serious enough for the statisticians at least. Victory in a third Cox Plate levels her up with triple winner Kingston Town and sees her level up with Black Caviar on 15 group 1 wins. She will also surpass Makybe Diva’s record for prize money earned.
The barrier draw for Saturday’s Cox Plate is conducted from 8.30am on Tuesday.