Hugh Bowman has declared Winx as good after her final gallop heading to her third George Ryder.
Hugh Bowman considers the 2017 George Ryder Stakes one of Winx’s best wins and the star jockey wouldn’t be surprised if the champion replicates that stunning performance.
Winx is the short-priced favourite to claim her 17th Group One win and third-straight George Ryder (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Last year she left multiple Group One winners Le Romain and Chautauqua in her wake as she powered through a rain-sodden surface to win the 1500m weight-for-age Ryder by more than seven lengths.
It was recognised by the World Thoroughbred Rankings as her peak performance of 2017.
The mare was put through her paces in a solo course proper gallop by Bowman at Rosehill on Thursday morning in preparation for Saturday when she can extend her current winning sequence to 24 races.
“They are all special and I wouldn’t try to say one is more special than the other,” Bowman said.
“I guess the first Cox Plate was very special but she does love it here at Rosehill.
“It’s her home track and she doesn’t get to race here too often.
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“I didn’t think it so much when she won the first George Ryder but I certainly feel as though she was enjoying being on her home track last year and it was one of her best performances in my opinion.
“They’re all pretty good, but I thought that was right up there with the top two or three and judging on the way she’s going at the moment it wouldn’t surprise me to see her emulate that on the weekend.”
Winx has five rivals in the George Ryder including rising star three-year-old Kementari who was on the second line of betting at $7.50 on Thursday with Winx at $1.10.
Both Bowman and trainer Chris Waller are confident everything is in order with the champion mare’s preparation for the race and the six-year-old is proven on rain-affected going.
“She’s as good as she looks,” Bowman said.
“She felt nice and strong this morning and ready to go on Saturday.”
Winx wasn’t asked to do too much just a couple of days out from the race but Waller liked what he saw.
“It was a very subdued work-out. She certainly was very powerful at the end of her work and that’s exactly what we wanted to see, without overdoing things so close to a race,” he said.
“I couldn’t be any happier with the way her preparation has gone so far, and her last week has been excellent also.”