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While Winx is in a different league compared to her Warwick Stakes rival Ecuador, the durable gelding needs to start his campaign somewhere and the Warwick Stakes at Randwick fits into his program.

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott had no hesitation earmarking Saturday’s Group Two 1400m-feature as the ideal opportunity to get the eight-year-old back racing as they set him for the Epsom Handicap at the end of next month.

“It’s a nice race to resume in irrespective of whether Winx is in there or not,” Bott said.

“We’ve got the Epsom in mind for him. He’s had a couple of nice trials now and he’s ready to resume.

“Yes, it will be very difficult to win the race but we’re looking forward to three or four starts time when our grand final is.”

Ecuador, one of seven rivals for Winx, last raced in the Group One Doncaster Mile on April 1 when he finished 13 lengths adrift of It’s Somewhat.

After a break he had three trials and is rated a $26 hope with the TAB on Saturday.

Bott said Winx’s presence as the $1.06 favourite had no bearing on preparing Ecuador for what appears to be a forlorn task, in terms of winning for the 11th time.

“We’re just concentrating on our performance. We know exactly where he’s at in his preparation and what we expect of him on the weekend,” Bott said.

“I think he’s forward enough to run a very competitive race. We saw last campaign he resumed albeit in a much lesser grade. He carried 62kg and won first-up over the 1400 metres ( December Handicap).

“He had a terrific campaign last time in. I thought he showed he was in career-best form and he’s come back particularly well.

“From what we’ve seen at home and in his trials I feel he’s carried that form through to this campaign.”

 
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