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Waller happy for Winx to have spotlight

Trainer Chris Waller was not concerned that his now-retired star mare Winx (Street Cry {Ire}) stole the spotlight of what was a Group 1 hat-trick on Saturday.

Reflecting on a day where he won the G1 Queen Elizabeth S. with Winx, and also the G1 Sydney Cup with Shraaoh (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) and the G1 Australian Oaks with Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}), the champion trainer said he was happy to play second fiddle to his retiring superstar.

Candice Persijn, Chris Waller, Winx and Umut Odemislioglu during Winx's final press call

“Rightly so,” Waller said. “Winx has been a big part of my career and it was all about Winx yesterday and for the right reasons."

"It was pretty obvious it was a big sporting moment and one that generations will keep in their mind for a long time and pass on to children and grand-children."

“Yeah, we also won a Sydney Cup and an Oaks and they’ll get their accolades in due course if they haven’t already. Maybe they’re part of Australia’s next piece of racing history.”

Waller said that Winx would leave the stables later this week, but there was no set plan for the transition to the next stage of her life.

“We haven’t discussed it yet (when she’ll leave),” Waller said.

“It won’t be tomorrow, we might not let her go for some time. I’d say towards the end of the week, once we’ve had our chance to say goodbye and thank her.”

Brisbane on Avantage's radar

Jamie Richards is mulling Brisbane carnival options for star 3-year-old filly Avantage (Fastnet Rock) after her excellent third in the G2 Arrowfield Sprint on Saturday.

Richards was proud of Avantage's performance at her second Australian run, where she was beaten by 1.7l by Classique Legend (Not A Single Doubt) in the $1m race.


“If we were going to run in The Championships for some decent prizemoney then the Arrowfield was our best option even though it meant staying at 1200m," he said. “As it turned out she went a top race and we’re extremely proud of her.”

Richards will talk to Te Akau boss David Ellis but is keen to keep her in work with the possibility of more stakes racing in Brisbane.

“It will depend on how she comes through the run but there are a number of options available for her including the Brisbane winter carnival,” he said.

Richards confirmed a decision on whether Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) contests the G1 Champagne S. next Saturday will be made in the coming days.

Marmelo returns a winner

G1 Melbourne Cup runner-up Marmelo (GB) (Duke of Marmalade {Ire}) has returned to the track a winner, storming home to claim the G3 John Porter S. at Newbury.

Trainer Hughie Morrison flagged a third shot at the Melbourne Cup for the 6-year-old after his one-length victory.

"It is fantastic to win on your home track. I don't think he has been within 200 miles of home in the last three years. He was a bit fresh when he got here," he said.

"Why not (go for the Melbourne Cup again) as long as the handicapper doesn't over-do him. I think we will stick to mile-and-a-half races in Europe and try to go up the grades."

"He did the last four furlongs in the Melbourne Cup faster than the Group One sprint that day. He is not slow. He obviously takes a furlong to get going, as you have seen today. Once he found that gear he (Gerald Mosse) knew he was going to get up."

"I put him in the Coronation Cup, basically if we came here and won, and it doesn't look so stupid now. I would not want to run him on fast ground, though. I think he appreciates a bit of juice in the ground."

"I think as they are an owner/breeder they would love to win a Group 1, but you could still do both and go to the Melbourne Cup."

Meanwhile at Naas, Latrobe (Ire) (Camelot {GB}), narrowly beaten in last year's G1 Emirates Mackinnon S., finished third in the G3 Alleged S. in his first start for 2019.

Thousand Guineas long-term goal for impressive debutante

Group 1 targets could be on the agenda of impressive debut winner Kali (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}) after her 2.3l victory at Trentham on Saturday.

Trainer Tony Pike has high hopes for the 2-year-old, who could be headed towards the NZ Thousand Guineas after being sent straight to the paddock after her win.

“It’s good to get a win with her as a late season two-year-old and I think we will probably tip her out for a break now,” Pike said.

“She comes from a family that has tended to get over a little bit of ground so I think with some time on her that she will get out to 1600m or further."

“Now that she has had a trip to Hastings it sets her up nicely for the spring carnival here with races like the Gold Trail Stakes (G3 1200m) on the radar."

“If she can go well in races like that then the obvious target would be the New Zealand 1000 Guineas (G1, 1600m) at Riccarton.”

Jockeys fined over bust-up

Jockeys Luke Tarrant and Matt McGillivray have been fined after coming to blows following a race at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Both jockeys pleaded guilty to a charge under AR115. Tarrant admitted to pushing McGillivray and was fined $500, while McGillivray admitted he struck Tarrant with an elbow and was fined $1000.

McGillivray had just returned from his successful ride aboard Winning Ways (Declaration Of War {USA}) when the incident occurred. He was also victorious on Scallopini (Snitzel), later in the day.

Both riders were reminded of their obligations following the incident.