Dual Cox Plate winner Winx hasn’t scared away her rivals and is one for sixteen horses nominated for the Group 2 $250,000 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Winx plus seven of her Chris Waller trained stablemates make up half the nominations while the Kris Lees trained Doomben Cup winner Sense Of Occasion heads up the remainder of the entries.
Winx began her chase for a third win in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 28 with a skinny first up win in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 19.
The champion mare who will be trying to win her nineteenth win in a row this weekend, blew the start in the Warwick Stakes and after being several lengths behind the second last horse in the early stages was able to run down her stablemate Foxplay to record a head win which was a giant relief to her trainer, jockey Hugh Bowman and the entire Australian racing community.
Waller has reacted by adding a pair of earmuffs to Winx’s race day gear and hopes that will help her concentrate in the barriers for the Chelmsford Stakes and see her leave the gates cleanly.
“I’m pleased to be running her on Saturday because it is about ticking all the boxes and making sure she is on song for the George Main,” Waller told The Daily Telegraph this week.
“She will wear earmuffs and with them on it should ensure she jumps on terms with them.
“I want to run her in the Chelmsford so she does everything 100 per cent and that will give her confidence going into the spring.”
Foxplay is among the rest of Waller’s seven Chelmsford Stakes nominations but is unlikely to come up against Winx again this week.
The Foxwedge mare is also nominated for the Group 2 $200,000 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick and the Group 1 $1m Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday but the master trainer is also contemplating keeping her at home for another week and running her in the Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill.
Waller’s other Chelmsford Stakes nominations are Antonio Giuseppe, Libran, Life Less Ordinary, Sarrasin, Tom Melbourne and Who Shot Thebarman.
New Zealander Chocante has been nominated for the weight for age Chelmsford Stakes and if Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh decides to cross the Tasman again, the five year old gelding will be having his first run back since winning the Group 2 $300,000 Evergreen Turf Brisbane Cup (2200m) at Doomben on June 10.
Final acceptances for the 2017 Chelmsford Stakes will be taken on Wednesday morning, August 30.
Nominations for the 2017 Chelmsford Stakes
|#||Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp Rating|
|2||112x1240x5||ANTONIO GIUSEPPE (NZ)||G||5||Chris Waller||103|
|3||121x37301x||CHOCANTE (NZ)||G||5||Stephen Marsh||101|
|5||1212652×57||HARPER’S CHOICE||H||4||Gerald Ryan||89|
|6||110x8747x4||HE’S OUR ROKKII (NZ)||G||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||107|
|7||1x027530x0||LASQUETI SPIRIT||M||4||Lee Curtis||102|
|8||112x8746Px||LIBRAN (IRE)||G||7||Chris Waller||107|
|9||1841x122x2||LIFE LESS ORDINARY (IRE)||G||6||Chris Waller||92|
|10||13311255×4||RED EXCITEMENT||G||8||Gerald Ryan||108|
|11||3x1412x3x5||SARRASIN (GB)||H||6||Chris Waller||98|
|12||4x12x3361x||SENSE OF OCCASION||G||7||Kris Lees||113|
|13||223x6905x2||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||G||7||Chris Waller||98|
|14||7255x3642x||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||9||Chris Waller||108|
|16||560x2612x7||ZANBAGH||M||7||John P Thompson||108|