Randwick track expected to improve

SYDNEY Sep 2 2016

The biggest star at Randwick is supposed to be Winx but the weather is claiming centre stage ahead of the Chelmsford Stakes meeting.

But if the rain in Sydney forces a change of plans for the champion mare, her trainer Chris Waller says that will only be a minor inconvenience.

"Her program has always allowed for her to miss a race along the way so I wouldn't think much would change," Waller said.

"We won't make a decision until after we see if she runs or not."

Waller and her owners are not keen to run her on Saturday if the track is rated a heavy 10 but Randwick track manager Nevesh Ramdhani is predicting slightly better ground.

"We had 14 mils to 9am and another 22 mils to 3pm but I was pleasantly surprised when I walked it this afternoon (Friday) and I have rated it a heavy nine," Ramdhani said.

"The stewards have also walked inspected it and are happy with the heavy nine rating."

Ramdhani said there was still more rain to come but it was expected to clear by midnight.

"I'm not too concerned because Saturday will be pretty breezy with winds up to 40 kilometres an hour so we should get a bit of drying in before the meeting."

Winx is $1.15 with the TAB to record her 11th straight win since her second in the 2015 Australian Oaks.

If she doesn't run in the Group Two Chelmsford (1600m), options include Group One races over the same distance in two states, the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on Saturday week or the George Main Stakes at Randwick a week later.

"There are all sorts of options," Waller said.

"She is fit enough after her first-up run to miss a race."

Winx made her season return look easy, winning the Warwick Stakes under a hold from Hugh Bowman, beating many of her potential Chelmsford rivals most of whom she sees on a daily basis.

Waller has six of the eight entries with Godolphin's Hartnell and James Cummings-trained three-year-old Prized Icon the others.

As of Friday, Prized Icon at $7 is the only other runner under double figures.



Caryl Williamson - AAP

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