News In Brief
Winx can’t be faulted
Wonder mare Winx is in the best possible condition ahead of her bid for a third A$3 million Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
“She’ll be cherry ripe for Saturday, everything’s perfect,” trainer Chris Waller said. “When you put up a challenge to Winx and other great champions they rise to it.”
Winx, who will be chasing her 22nd consecutive victory and a staggering 15th Group One success, has drawn gate six in the nine horse Cox Plate field.
Savvy Dreams back in work
Group One performer Savvy Dreams is showing the benefit of a good break.
Third behind Bonneval in last season’s New Zealand Oaks (2400m), she was turned out after an autumn campaign across the Tasman where her best effort was a fourth placing in the Gr.1 South Australian Derby (2500m).
“She’s been back in work for a month or so now and she’s really strengthened up and looking great,” said Grant Cullen, who trains the daughter of Savabeel with Guy Lowry.
“She’ll probably kick off at Hastings in December and we’ll make some firm plans after that, there are some nice races for her during the Wellington Cup carnival.”
Hasahalo for Soliloquy
A back-up plan is in place for the talented filly Hasahalo, who was scratched from Monday’s Gr.2 Sarten Memorial (1400m) due to the rain-affected track.
“She’s nominated for the Soliloquy Stakes at Ellerslie on Saturday,” trainer Stephen McKee said.
Meanwhile, a decision has yet to be made whether Star Treasure will go to Christchurch for the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).
“It’s disappointing that we haven’t been able to get him on a good track to know exactly where we are so I’ve left it up to the owners,” McKee said.
Group One placed in last season’s Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m), Star Treasure finished seventh on a Slow 7 Te Rapa track in the Sarten Memorial.
Derby hopes for Mission Hill
Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have classic hopes for Mission Hill.
The Cambridge three-year-old beat the older horses at Te Rapa on Monday for the second win of his three start career.
“It was a very good effort from a horse that we think will make a nice stayer in time,” Forsman said. “He’s a real Derby type for the autumn.”
The son of Teofilo’s only defeat came on debut when he finished runner-up at Pukekohe Park.