As champion Winx begins pre-training ahead of her next campaign, her trainer Chris Waller still has some unfinished Group One business this season.
Winx is responsible for six of Waller’s 12 Group One wins in 2017/18 with four elite races left, three on Saturday at Doomben where the stable will be well represented.
Endless Drama is a definite starter in the Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) with decisions yet to be made on Group One-winning mares Foxplay and Shillelagh.
“My thoughts are to run Foxplay if the track is soft and Shillelagh if it is dry,” Waller said.
“Whichever one doesn’t run will go straight to the Tatt’s Tiara two weeks later.”
Waller will wait until Tuesday to decide whether Queensland Oaks winner Youngstar and runner-up Another Dollar take their places in the Queensland Derby (2200m) against their male counterparts.
“Another Dollar has had no luck. She kicked back hard in the Oaks,” Waller said
“Youngstar has gone from a maiden to an Oaks winner in one preparation.
“If I had a gun to my head, I would probably say it’s unlikely they will run but a final decision will be made after track work on Tuesday.”
Tangled has run in three Derbys in three states while Augustus will run for New Zealand’s Te Akau Racing which has bought him with next year’s Singapore Derby for four-year-olds in mind.
Waller’s strongest hand comes in the J J Atkins Plate (1600m) for two-year-olds with last-start Sydney winner The Autumn Sun, who leads the market ahead of his stablemates Lean Mean Machine and Zousain.
“The Autumn Sun has joined them up there and he has settled in well,” Waller said.
“The other two have come through their last start runs well.”
Lean Mean Machine beat Zousain to win the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes with Waller to consider a gear change for the latter.
“We might put some ear muffs on Zousain just to help turn him off a little,” he said.
“We have been telling the jockeys to come out neutral but we need to tell them to come out negative. The horse is jumping too well.”
Waller said Winx had begun pre-training and would return to his Rosehill stable in about a month with her likely first-up goal the upgraded and renamed Warwick Stakes on August 18 to be run at Group One level as the Winx Stakes.
“It will come around faster than you think,” Waller said.
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