Winx Trainer's Kind-Hearted Move To Help Champ Win Her Last Race
Few things are certain life, and that's doubly true on a racecourse.
But the prospect of champion mare Winx winning her 33rd consecutive race on April 13 in the Queen Elizabeth stakes at Randwick -- and finishing in a manner she deserves and which the adoring public craves -- just got a whole lot more likely.
That's because star colt The Autumn Sun -- also trained by Winx's trainer Chris Waller -- is heading for the spelling paddock after a tough recent campaign.
The Autumn Sun has performed incredibly of late, and most people thought he was the only horse that could challenge Winx in the Queen Elizabeth.
Just look at his recent win at Randwick. He's the horse in the red-and-green colours which was absolutely nowhere on the turn. HOW THE HELL DID HE WIN THAT?
He's won another race since then too in very similar fashion, again coming from a seemingly hopeless position.
The Queen Elizabeth would have been a hell of a race. The rising star against the ageing champ. And potentially, a perfect headline should the young gun win: Autumn Sun Sets On Winx.
But this week, Chris Waller recommended to The Autumn Sun's owners that the horse deserves a break after his recent gut-busting efforts.
"This decision was formed on the basis that he is still a young horse who is continuing to grow and develop and whilst it may not be seen in that light by racing enthusiasts and his growing fan base, it is my job as his trainer to look after these horses to ensure they can be followed and continue their careers with distinction," he announced on racing.com.
There's a telling phrase in there, when Waller mentions that "it may not be seen in that light by racing enthusiasts".
It's a clear, if subtle, nod to the fact that he understood how many people wanted to see the clash with Winx, and that he knows some will see this as him ducking the Queen Elizabeth to avoid ruining Winx's swansong.
Nudge, nudge, Winx, Winx.
The Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which Winx has won the last two years, will still have a decent field. Winx will have to earn the win. But as good as likely contenders like Happy Clapper and Hartnell and Avilius are, Winx has comfortably beaten them all before.
And so, when the autumn sun does indeed set on Winx's career on April 13, it'll be the fiery ball on the western horizon, not the horse.