Plans to lure Winx to England will intensify this week with Ascot officials set to meet with trainer Chris Waller and owners of the champion mare.
Ascot’s director of racing Nick Smith has attempted to lure Winx to Royal Ascot twice previously and believes she would be a near certainty if she contested the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes (1600m) in June.
“If she goes it will be for the Queen Anne, which is a mile race but it rides more like a nine furlong (1800m) race,” Smith told News.com.au.
“She would be very strong favourite. We’re (Europe) not replete with strong milers in the older horse category this year, most of the good three-year-olds have retired. She would probably find it the biggest open door that you could ask for in all honesty.”
Winx made history last year when equalling Kingston Town’s record of 3 consecutive Cox Plate wins. Now connections of the 6-year-old will weigh up whether to target a 4th Cox Plate or a potential trip to Ascot.
“Chris made it very clear last year that a third Cox Plate was the priority, completely understandably. She has now been campaigned with a potential trip in mind.” Smith said.
“The Chipping Norton Stakes is next after (last Saturday’s) trial, then the George Ryder and then after the George Ryder, that’s the key decision-making date.
“There’s not much more that we can do,” Smith said.
No decision on a potential trip will be made until after next months George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and Smith is remaining optimistic that Winx will travel to Ascot.
“I’d say things are looking pretty optimistic, pretty positive.” Smith said.
“We have the relationship and the conversation has been ongoing for 12 months.
“We know Chris is taking this very seriously.”