Expectation builds as Winx nears return

SYDNEY Aug 18 2016

Shrouded in pressure and expectation, Winx's return to racing creates the chance for her to build her legacy.

On Black Caviar's 10th birthday, Winx completed her final piece of trackwork before her attempt to win her 10th consecutive race in the Warwick Stakes.

There are stark differences between the pair, but the public are increasingly captivated by Winx as she writes her own chapter in history.

"She's the new Black Caviar so to speak," trainer Chris Waller said.

Winx is the short-priced favourite to win Saturday's Group Two race over 1400m at Randwick.

It will be her first run since the autumn in which she grew from a star to a champion.

"She simply has to maintain that for another season or two to be in the heights of a Black Caviar," Waller said.

Waller said he was unsure whether Winx could improve in her five-year-old season having broken the track record in the Cox Plate and won the Doncaster carrying 56.5kg at four.

"If she could improve it would be very exciting for everybody," Waller said.

"We hope that she can just sustain the level she's been at."

Waller is planning to give Winx five starts during her spring campaign which will climax with her Cox Plate defence at Moonee Valley in October.

The champion trainer has 62 Group One winners and six Sydney premierships, but Winx creates a different weight of expectation.

"The pressure of her winning is obviously something we haven't really experienced before," Waller said.

"The public pressure is greater than any other horse I've trained.

It's not just the public with lofty expectations.

After riding her in her final piece of trackwork at Rosehill on Thursday, jockey Hugh Bowman said his confidence was high ahead of Saturday.

"Obviously the expectations are for her to win again, but for me the main thing is she's very fit and well," Bowman said.

"As far as I'm concerned I think she's forward enough to resume at the level we all expect her to."

In a seven-horse field without a natural front-runner in the Warwick Stakes, Bowman said Winx could lead.

"I'll just work it out as the gates open but it's clear there's not going to be much pace," he said.

"My main concern will be having her comfortable."

Matt Coughlan - AAP

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