Chris Waller believes Winx looks better than she ever has at this stage of the year following a barrier trial outing at Rosehill on Tuesday.
The seven-year-old was last seen when claiming a record fourth Cox Plate victory back in October – a victory which extended the Australian superstar’s winning sequence to 29 races.
Winx is due to resume racing on February 16 in the Group Two Apollo Stakes at Randwick and she started her preparation in earnest by finishing seventh in a four-and-a-half-furlong trial event.
Partnered by usual rider Hugh Bowman, Winx was slow to break and allowed to find her stride before staying on well enough in the straight.
Connections have made no secret of the fact retirement is looming for Winx, but Waller was thrilled with her racecourse spin.
He told www.racing.com: “If anything, she looks better than we’ve had her at the same stage and her body language is just fantastic.
“We’re dealing with a very good horse and that’s pretty plain and easy for everybody to see.
“It’s just like the last preparation, it’s one race at a time. We won’t say when the end is.
“It’s simply the Apollo Stakes first-up at Randwick in the middle of February and then we take one race from there and providing Hugh’s happy, the owners are happy and the obvious signs are there to say that she can progress to a second a third and maybe fourth start, then we’ll just take it as it comes.”
Bowman was also satisfied and felt the daughter of Street Cry was only improving as the gallop went on.
He added: “I was really pleased. Obviously, we saw she missed the start as she’s had a habit of doing previously.
“She’s been really good (at the start) the last couple of preps. Because she did that, I didn’t want to rush into her gear and it took a little while to tack onto the field.
“I think her best work was certainly as she went past the winning post and beyond.
“Her action was great. Her mannerisms, if anything, she was probably more relaxed than usual which she has shown signs of in her gallops leading into the first trial.”