Winx ready for delayed return to racing

Trainer Chris Waller has no regrets about the delayed start to Winx’s autumn campaign ahead of the champion’s return for a defence of the Chipping Norton Stakes.

She will be the odds-on favourite to take her Group One tally to an Australian record 16 and her winning streak to 23.

Waller and the mare’s owners elected to bypass the Apollo Stakes rather than try to replace the suspended Hugh Bowman with another jockey.

Instead on February 17, Winx was given an upgraded barrier trial against several stablemates, simulating race conditions which Waller said had served its purpose.

“The trial has brought her on and she is ready to go in the Chipping Norton.

“She’s had a very good week since then and we couldn’t be happier.”

Waller will have several runners in the 1600m-Group One race.

“Who Shot Thebarman, Libran, Comin’ Through and McCreery are all likely to be there and possibly Endless Drama,” he said.

“We’ll look at the make-up of the field before deciding whether Endless Drama runs or not.”

In the absence of his illustrious stablemate, former English horse Endless Drama won the Apollo Stakes (1400m) for Qatar Bloodstock, his first win in Australia.

Comin’ Through finished third with the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Global Glamour splitting the pair.

Endless Drama’s European form includes a second to Gleneagles in the 2015 Irish Two Thousand Guineas and a third in the Lockinge Stakes.

He is a stallion prospect while Comin’ Through was gelded before he returned in the Apollo.

Both are headed to the Doncaster Mile, a race Waller has won six times most recently in 2016 with Winx.

Another stablemate, dual Group One winner Egg Tart, will run in the Group Two Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) after being scratched from Saturday’s Millie Fox Stakes.

“She wasn’t suited by the weights. It would have been hard for her with 59 kilos,” Waller said.