Trainer Chris Waller insists Cox Plate winner Winx will have enough tactical speed to make the most of her inside barrier for her return to racing in the Apollo Stakes.
Winx has the rail in Saturday’s Group Two race, a draw Waller said was unlikely to present a danger to the mare’s chances of extending her winning sequence to six races.
“It’s better than being drawn out,” Waller said. “I don’t like bad draws with her.
“They mean we have to go back to last on her but this means we don’t have to go back to last.”
Favourite to win the Doncaster Mile and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Winx had the inside barrier when she settled midfield in the Cox Plate.
It was the closest she raced to the leaders in a three-start spring campaign that elevated her to superstar status in Australian racing.
After 11 horses stood their ground for the weight-for-age Apollo (1400m) at Randwick, Winx remained a standout on corporate bookmakers’ boards.
“She’s well into the red on the fact that she’ll be favourite in every race she contests this autumn,” the TAB’s Glenn Munsie said.
“They won’t back anything to beat her.”
Munsie said there was one scenario where Winx’ barrier draw could turn out to be a disadvantage.
“What Leebaz, Centre Pivot and Solicit have got to do is crawl and hope Winx gets caught in traffic and then they have got to try to hold her off,” he said.
“The advantage she is going to have is that the majority of runners are in the same boat as she is – they are also first-up.”
Winx is $1.55 with the TAB and the Gerald Ryan-trained Solicit is the next pick at $4.60.
The former Hong Kong galloper Dibayani, first-up since running in a Caulfield Cup day support race, is on the next line at $8.
Winx will be the shortest-priced favourite for a meeting that announces the return of a host of turf stars.
Thousand Guineas winner Stay With Me is favourite to win the Light Fingers Stakes, Generalife heads betting on the Southern Cross Stakes and Private Secretary holds an early call in the Triscay Stakes.