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Image: Steve Hart

The second-most popular horse in the Chris Waller stable will take on his superstar stablemate in the Apollo Stakes.

Tom Melbourne broke a run of outs stretching back more than 1000 days when he claimed the Carrington Stakes (1400m) at Randwick last Saturday week.

Owners OTI Racing have confirmed Tom Melbourne will take on Winx in Saturday’s Group Two Apollo (1400m) at Randwick.

Tom Melbourne is also garnering support for the $5 million All Star Mile in March with the 10 of the 14 runners to be decided by public vote.

The two are among 10 Apollo nominations from the Waller stable with the Pat Webster-trained Happy Clapper, Aloisia and Mask Of Time from the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace yard and Le Romain the other four entered.

Trainer Kris Lees says triple Group One winner Le Romain will not take his place with the Group One Futurity Stakes in Melbourne his goal along with the All Star Mile.

Happy Clapper, who won Randwick’s two biggest “mile” races last season, the Epsom and the Doncaster, is also being aimed at the All Star Mile .

But Webster admits he is a little anxious after the gelding’s bleeding attack in the spring which forced him to the spelling paddock to serve a mandatory three-month ban.

Although Happy Clapper has not beaten Winx in eight meetings, he has come closer than most.

“He’s earned $2 million running second and third to her,” Webster said.

“She’s a freak but he has to start somewhere. He loves Randwick so that suits and I just want to see him go well.”

Winx will shooting for her 30th consecutive win when she has her first start since her historic fourth Cox Plate in October.

Waller cannot fault her physically and jockey Hugh Bowman says she is mentally prepared and showing no signs as a seven-year-old she wants to stop racing.

She had a day out on Saturday, with a float trip from Rosehill to Randwick and a gallop in which she was partnered by stablemate Egg Tart who joins her in the Apollo.

“She looks after herself in trials and in her work,” Bowman said.

“But she knows when it’s race day.”

 
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