Nine Turnbull rivals for Winx
Source: Andrew Eddy
Winx will have nine rivals when she shoots for her 28th-consecutive victory at Flemington in Saturday’s Group 1 Turnbull Stakes.
Winx will carry saddlecloth No. 2 in the $500,000 race and jump from barrier eight in what will be the champion mare’s final lead-up run before her attempt on a fourth-consecutive Cox Plate in three weeks’ time.
Trainer Chris Waller will also lift the veil on his superstar with a media call confirmed for Thursday morning at his stables at Flemington.
Winx has been in Melbourne for more than a week but has not yet been paraded before the public as she has completed her workouts in the early hours of the morning and again on Thursday, she will gallop at 5:10am, partnered by regular rider, Hugh Bowman.
The media call will be held at the Flemington Turf Nursery from 5:45am.
Bowman will be joined by Waller and part-owners Debbie Kepitis and Peter Tighe to face questions on the progress of the world’s premier racehorse in the countdown to the Cox Plate.
The 2018 Turnbull is certain to prove a much tougher task for Winx than it was last year when she won by six-and-a-half lengths in a field of seven with two of those runners – Skyfire and Magicool – starting at $201 and barely finishing within sight of the winner.
All of her nine rivals – except for 99-rater Divine Unicorn – boast ratings above 100, with one of those being Winx’s younger stablemate, the Caulfield Cup-bound Youngstar.
Carrying the top weight of 58kg is the four-year-old Grunt, who will be ridden by Mark Zahra as regular rider Damien Oliver is riding Dealmaker at Randwick in the $500,000 G1 Spring Champion Stakes.