Chris Waller doesn’t have a Golden Slipper runner, but he does have the star attraction at Rosehill.
Winx is odds-on to extend her winning run to eight in Saturday’s George Ryder Stakes but after the defeat of her stablemate Press Statement as the shortest-priced favourite ever in the Randwick Guineas, her trainer is taking nothing for granted.
Press Statement is the $6 second favourite for his first attempt at weight-for-age in the Group One George Ryder (1500m) and Waller says the colt is a worthy opponent.
But Winx, who lists the Cox Plate and Chipping Norton Stakes among her seven-win streak, has the form on the board.
“She has surprised me with how well she has held her weight,” Waller said.
“She is the same as she was at her first and second runs which is a very good sign.
“This is the obvious race for her at 1500 metres with the possibility of backing up in the Doncaster before the Queen Elizabeth.”
Winx had a gallop between races at Rosehill on Saturday and a solid work-out at 1000m on Tuesday.
Hugh Bowman rides Winx with James McDonald to partner three-year-old Press Statement and Zac Purton to steer the third of Waller’s George Ryder runners, Kermadec.
Bowman gave Press Statement his final gallop on Tuesday before the colt steps up to weight-for-age for the first time.
“Hugh was very happy with his work saying that he has come on nicely since his last start and will certainly provide good competition for Winx on Saturday,” Waller said.
“Kermadec also worked strongly this morning and his work was pleasing.”
The winner of the 2015 Doncaster as a three-year-old, Kermadec ran third in the George Ryder last year behind Japanese horse Real Impact and Criterion.
The field is likely to have a maximum of eight runners from 11 original nominations with Le Romain, a shock winner over Press Statement in the Randwick Guineas, to be tested over 2000m in the Rosehill version.
Bull Point is entered for Wednesday’s Newcastle Newmarket while the Waller-trained Counterattack is likely to run against his own age in the Darby Munro.