Winx plans change to accommodate Bowman ban
RACING: Trainer Chris Waller has revealed champion mare Winx's comeback to racing will be delayed two weeks so regular jockey Hugh Bowman can retain the ride.
Waller said on Tuesday morning that Winx will resume in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on March 3.
Her comeback had been scheduled for the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at the same track on February 17 but Waller has decided on a change of program after Bowman lost his appeal against a careless riding suspension on Monday.
"Hugh Bowman is very much important part of Winx and we feel we can go straight into the Chipping Norton first-up without the need to resume in the Apollo Stakes as we had originally planned," Waller said.
"She races well fresh and we are well ahead of schedule with her, so I will simply give her a third (barrier) trial to ensure her fitness levels are high enough to compete at her best in this race."
Waller did add that should Bowman become unavailable later in the autumn through suspension or some other unforeseen circumstance, then a replacement jockey would be found for Winx when she races in her "significant targets" during the carnival.
Bowman was handed a seven-meeting careless riding suspension on Australia Day.