Chris Waller’s quartet of runners in the seventh at Rosehill have an added incentive to score a victory on Saturday.
The benchmark 93 handicap over 1500m for three-year-olds and up has special significance for Waller, given the race now carries the name of the star of his stable, 2017 Australian Racing Hall of Fame inductee Winx.
The Winx Hall of Fame Handicap recognises the super mare’s elevation to racing’s elite on Wednesday and Waller, who trained his 200th winner at Warwick Farm on Wednesday, said winning her race would be a moment to cherish.
“It’d be like a horse winning on your birthday, your anniversary or whatever it may be; it’s just one of those special moments racing can provide.
“If you did win a Winx race, that would be something you’d remember for a long time.”
Waller has Invinzabeel, Liapari, So Willie and Encosta Line – a group with 95 races between them and 15 wins – lining up.
Sydney’s premier trainer, who will attend a Hall of Fame function in Melbourne on Friday night before returning to his home track, was coy when asked if one of the four could achieve the desired result.
“I’ll give them all a pep talk on the morning of the race saying ‘Winx will be proud of you if can bring the sash home’,” Waller said.
Invinzabeel needs luck from the outside barrier (16) but Waller was more enthusiastic about four-year-old gelding So Willie, who has notched back-to-back BM78s at Warwick Farm and Hawkesbury to kick off this preparation.
“Liapari was also very good first-up and Encosta Line went terrific first-up so we’re well represented,” Waller said, referring to the duo’s second and fourth placings in benchmarks races at Hawkesbury last month.
“They’re all very good chances. They’re good Sydney winter horses that’ll win good prize money.
“They might join up the end of the (Queensland winter) carnival but it’s just as good for them here. The tracks are good at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Waller was understandably rapt with Winx, the reigning dual Cox Plate winner, joining Sunline and Black Caviar as the only horses inducted into the Hall of Fame while they were still racing.
“It’s a great achievement for the horse,” he said.
“It’s one of the many privileges of being involved with a horse of that calibre.
“It’s been an indescribable ride to fame for her.”