Hugh Bowman isn’t expecting tactics to be a factor when he rides Winx in a three-horse Group One race at Caulfield.
The champion Sydney-trained mare will face off against Black Heart Bart and He Or She in the 2000m Caulfield Stakes on Saturday.
Bowman insists the small field makes his job easier but knows she will still need a solid hit-out for her main Melbourne objective, the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 22.
“Tactics go out the window in a small field,” Bowman said.
“I can be wherever I’m comfortable. I don’t have to worry about being too far back. I don’t care if I lead or sit outside the leader, although I wouldn’t expect to be there.
“In the small field I could sit last and be spotting the leader a couple of lengths so it does take the pressure off riding her.
“I’m still mindful though that she has to race at her premium to make sure she’s at her peak for the Cox Plate.”
Bowman partnered Winx is a leisurely stroll around Caulfield on Wednesday ahead of her first start at the track.
On her only previous trip to Melbourne, Winx won last year’s Cox Plate.
Bowman said Winx was alert and on her toes during the work-out and could have gone faster had he let her.
“It was pretty casual this morning and she pretty much stretched her legs,” Bowman said.
“It let her have a look around the track she’ll be racing on on Saturday.
“She’s ready to go.”
Trainer Chris Waller said the trip to Caulfield from her Flemington base where she has been since early Sunday morning was to get her used to different surroundings.
Waller explained all Winx’s ground work had been done in Sydney.
“Today wasn’t really a work-out for fitness,” Waller said.
“It was simply for getting used to the surroundings and taking away a few of the butterflies.
“We put her on the truck and brought her over to have her all prepared for Saturday without doing too much.”
Winx is the $1.15 favourite to stretch her winning sequence to 12 and collect an eighth Group One victory.
Black Heart Bart, chasing a third Group One win for the season, is second pick at $4.80 with He Or She at $31.
Waller said there was some added pressure when Winx was racing.
“A lot of the time you go to the races hoping to win but with Winx you go to the races not expecting to win but knowing you’re expected to win,” he said.