No matter when or where Winx begins her next campaign or who rides her, the champion is ready to go after another pleasing barrier trial when fifth behind top sprinter Redzel at Rosehill.
Hours after Monday’s 1000m-trial, Hugh Bowman lost a bid to have a careless riding suspension reduced and her owners and trainer Chris Waller will now discuss all options with the champion jockey unavailable for their original choice, the Group Two Apollo Stakes at Randwick on February 17.
The Group One Futurity Stakes, also over 1400 metres, at Caulfield a week later is one possibility as is the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on March 3.
“It’s still two weeks away from her planned first-up run in the Apollo, but if we need to make changes we’ll do that when required to do so,” Waller said.
“We’re in a pretty fortunate position, there’s lots of options.
“We don’t want to make things too difficult, but the Futurity is a possibility. It’s unlikely, but it’s a possibility. We could even go first-up in the Chipping Norton.
“We won’t miss races if it will affect the end result which are the bigger targets ahead.
“Does she need to race in the Apollo? Are there bigger targets? She doesn’t have to race every week. We’ve seen before she races well fresh and you can space her races.
“When you have a horse like Winx we can take into consideration do we need to risk other jockeys riding.
“Fortunately she is a pretty straightforward horse to train.
“Most importantly one thing comes first and that’s the horse.”
After the trial Bowman said he asked Winx to do a little more than she had in her first hit-out two weeks earlier.
“Her behaviour in the barriers was very good,” he said.
“I asked her to do a bit more than last time.
“Interestingly she doesn’t go out with same mindset in a trial as a race. She was was just doing enough.
“It was all pretty smooth.”
His appeal to have his seven-meeting ban reduced was not so smooth and Bowman will now weigh up the value of travelling to New Zealand to appeal another suspension he received the day after his Warwick Farm penalty on January 26.
With no alteration to his Sydney suspension, Bowman would have to get a significant reduction in his eight-meeting ban from the Ellerslie meeting.