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Waller’s Winx in line to notch 100th group 1 as TV push thwarted

The stars are aligning for Winx to christen Chris Waller's 100th group 1 win midway through the..

By Sunday Herald Team , in Sports , at April 8, 2019

The stars are aligning for Winx to christen Chris Waller's 100th group 1 win midway through the second day of The Championships despite television executives lobbying to have the mare's final run shunted to later in the afternoon.

The Herald understands the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes, scheduled to be Winx's final racetrack appearance, will be run as race seven at 3.05pm in front of a capacity crowd at Randwick on Saturday.

One to go: Winx will line up in race seven on the second day of The Championships.

One to go: Winx will line up in race seven on the second day of The Championships.Credit:AAP

It comes despite a brief push from broadcasters for arguably the biggest moment in Australian turf history to be held as late as possible, providing a huge audience for Seven's later programming.

But racing officials will stick to an original plan for Winx to shimmy onto the turf for one final time just after 3pm, a race directly after the Australian Oaks.

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Waller, who has 98 group 1 wins to his name, will saddle red-hot favourite and ex-Darren Weir horse Verry Elleegant in the three-year-old fillies' classic where most expect him to rack up his 99th major.

It would mean four-time Cox Plate heroine Winx could elevate him into an illustrious club limited to Tommy Smith, Bart Cummings, Gai Waterhouse and Lee Freedman as trainers to have cracked the century club of Australian group 1 wins.

Such a scenario would mean Winx would also boast a quarter of Waller's group 1 successes as she chases a 25th win at the top level and 33rd straight victory.

Race programmers have allowed a 45-minute gap between Winx's last start and the $2 million Sydney Cup in preparation for the celebrations and presentations to follow the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

They'll then have the task of keeping punters on track for the Sydney Cup and the final two races on the program after that. The Queen Elizabeth Stakes will be the first leg of the quaddie.

While there was enormous appeal in some quarters to delay Winx's event until later in the afternoon, it is anticipated she will have a slightly better surface to race on than if the Queen Elizabeth Stakes was made either race nine or 10 on the day.

A rain-sodden Randwick track absorbed heavy traffic during 10 races on the opening day of The Championships and still has two more meetings to survive during the autumn carnival.

I know he's got to take on the mare, but it's an ideal race for him either way

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Winx is likely to face a couple of her most notable foes in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes with Happy Clapper, which will be devoid of blinkers, and Hartnell both expected to line up alongside the seven-year-old mare one last time.

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Waller’s Winx in line to notch 100th group 1 as TV push thwarted

The stars are aligning for Winx to christen Chris Waller's 100th group 1 win midway through the..

By Sunday Herald Team , in Sports , at April 8, 2019

The stars are aligning for Winx to christen Chris Waller's 100th group 1 win midway through the second day of The Championships despite television executives lobbying to have the mare's final run shunted to later in the afternoon.

The Herald understands the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes, scheduled to be Winx's final racetrack appearance, will be run as race seven at 3.05pm in front of a capacity crowd at Randwick on Saturday.

One to go: Winx will line up in race seven on the second day of The Championships.

One to go: Winx will line up in race seven on the second day of The Championships.Credit:AAP

It comes despite a brief push from broadcasters for arguably the biggest moment in Australian turf history to be held as late as possible, providing a huge audience for Seven's later programming.

But racing officials will stick to an original plan for Winx to shimmy onto the turf for one final time just after 3pm, a race directly after the Australian Oaks.

Advertisement

Waller, who has 98 group 1 wins to his name, will saddle red-hot favourite and ex-Darren Weir horse Verry Elleegant in the three-year-old fillies' classic where most expect him to rack up his 99th major.

It would mean four-time Cox Plate heroine Winx could elevate him into an illustrious club limited to Tommy Smith, Bart Cummings, Gai Waterhouse and Lee Freedman as trainers to have cracked the century club of Australian group 1 wins.

Such a scenario would mean Winx would also boast a quarter of Waller's group 1 successes as she chases a 25th win at the top level and 33rd straight victory.

Race programmers have allowed a 45-minute gap between Winx's last start and the $2 million Sydney Cup in preparation for the celebrations and presentations to follow the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. (more…)

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