It’s no secret Winx’s rivals are lining up in the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick running for second, with a $56,000 bet underscoring her favouritism to claim a 15th successive victory.
The TAB estimated the five-year-old mare accounted for 99.73 per cent of the betting in Saturday’s feature race, according to spokesman Gerard Middleton.
“It doesn’t matter what price she is, punters just line up to back her like they did with Black Caviar,” Middleton said.
“We’ve just taken a bet of $56,000, as well as $12,000, $10,000 and $8,000, on Winx and we’re expecting plenty more to come.”
Although Winx is the $1.10 favourite trainer Chris Waller was taking nothing for granted after watching her round off preparations before dawn at Rosehill on Thursday.
Aware John O’Shea, the trainer of second favourite Hartnell ($8) at Luxbet.com, was guarded about the six-year-old gelding’s potential to end a five race losing streak against Winx, Waller replied: “I take no notice whatsoever.”
However, he did pay close attention to his superstar’s final trackwork.
“She’s going as well as ever, it’s hard to quantify how well she’s going,” he said.
“Obviously we saw her win well first up. You can’t really go better than breaking a track record in a Cox Plate almost 18 months ago and winning another Cox Plate by such a big margin.”
Forecast rain on Saturday was not a concern.
“If it’s not rain there’s probably a bit of irrigation put on the track anyway,” he said.
“I think the tracks have improved in Sydney over the last six months, particularly the Randwick track.
“It gives me a bit more confidence that it can handle a bit of rain. It should be the perfect racing surface.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au