Stars roll out for clash with Winx
THE presence of greatness hasn't deterred the connections of 13 potential rivals from challenging Winx and her national record bid at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Often when Winx is entered for a race it scares off possible opponents, but it doesn't look like being the case when she resumes in the race named in her honour, the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m).
The race won't lack for quality either with five individual Group 1 winners included among nominations for the weight-for-age race - Alizee, Ace High, D'Argento, Single Gaze and Unforgotten.
But Winx is so superior she has been rated at a prohibitive quote of $1.10 in early TAB Fixed Odds markets to score her 26th win in a row, breaking the record for consecutive wins she shares with another legendary mare, Black Caviar.
Trainer Chris Waller took to social media on Monday morning to provide an update on Winx's preparation for her comeback, revealing the great mare had a "solid workout with Hugh Bowman in the saddle" on the Rosehill course proper.
"I am very happy with her preparation work and Hugh said she feels great ahead of Saturday's race at Randwick," Waller said.
The Winx Stakes was previously known as the Warwick Stakes, which Winx won the past two years when the race was run as a Group 2 event.
It's elevation to Group 1 level this season provides Winx with an opportunity to claim her 19th major on Saturday.
Waller has also nominated five of Winx's stablemates - D'Argento, Libran, Religify, Single Gaze and Unforgotten.
But just how many rivals Winx will face on Saturday is unclear with Winx Stakes entries Unforgotten and Luvaluva also nominated for the Toy Show Quality, Alizee for the Show County Quality and Showtime likely to run in the Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield.
One horse definitely running in the Winx Stakes is Ace High, winner of the Spring Champion Stakes and Victoria Derby last season.
Ace High beat Winx home in a barrier trial last week but his trainer, David Payne, doesn't expect a similar result on Saturday.
"It's not his game this week but he's got to get fit and we've got bigger fish to fry,'' Payne told Racing NSW.
"I just want him to run well, finish a couple of lengths off them. If he can finish a few lengths off Winx I'd be very happy.
"I think he's definitely stronger now. He's put on about 25kg and I don't think he's going lose much weight along the way.''