Winx’s win in the Queensland Oaks almost a year ago set her on a path that surprised even her trainer.
Chris Waller is building his team for this year’s Classics in Brisbane, and while he doesn’t dare think there is a superstar among them, three of his charges will put their Derby credentials to the test in Saturday’s Rough Habit Plate.
Winx hasn’t been beaten since she won the Sunshine Coast Guineas in the lead-up to the Oaks and her wins include the Epsom Handicap, the Cox Plate, George Ryder Stakes and Doncaster Mile.
Waller doesn’t have the same aspirations yet for Mackintosh, Multifacets and Trafalgar who run in the Group Three Rough Habit (2000m) at Doomben.
Mackintosh made a winning start for Waller after being transferred from New Zealand trainer James Bridge, leading all the way in a 1500m-race at Hawkesbury last Saturday week in which Trafalgar was midfield after being hampered early.
Multifacets finished third in the Group Two Tulloch Stakes (2000m) in March before he was unplaced in a 1500m race at Rosehill on April 23 won by Imposing Lass, winner of Saturday’s Gold Coast Bracelet.
“They are all on trial for the Queensland Derby,” Waller said.
“I didn’t know much about Mackintosh before Hawkesbury but he deserves his chance.
“If you had asked me a year ago if I thought Winx would do what she has done I would have said no, so who knows.”
There were 17 entries taken for the Rough Habit on Monday including the Desleigh Forster-trained last-start Gunsynd Classic winner Cylinder Beach and Spring Champion Stakes runner-up I’m Belucci.
The Waller-trained Encosta Line is the $7 favourite for the Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11 with Cylinder Beach one of four horses on the second line at $9.
Encosta Line moved to the top of the market after his win over 1900 metres at Rosehill on Saturday with a decision still to be made whether he backs up in Saturday’s South Australian Derby.