Winx warms up for impending return in style
WINX finished an eye-catching third in a barrier trial at Rosehill on Tuesday morning with jockey Hugh Bowman describing it as her best pre-race hit out ever.
The champion missed the start in her 1000m heat by about a length, settled at the rear of the 10-horse field then powered through the field under a tight hold by jockey Hugh Bowman to finish third, only a length behind Alizee.
Winx will return to racing on Saturday week in the Group One race named in her honour.
Meanwhile the career of Australia's greatest stakes-earning sprinter is in doubt after Chautauqua again stubbornly refused to leave the barriers at this Tuesday morning's Rosehill trial.
Chautauqua was the world's top-rated sprinter for two years but his refusal to even leave the barriers in recent trials - and again, on Tuesday - has prevented him from racing for 10 months.
The champion lined up against nine rivals, including The Everest favourite Trapeze Artist, in his trial and all Team Hawkes and the grey's owners wanted to see was the gelding jump with the field.
But Chautauqua had other ideas.
Chautauqua again demonstrated his unwanted and frustrating habit of refusing to jump away with the field in his 900m trial, eventually leaving the gates when the others in his heat were on the home turn, nearly 500m away.
When Chautauqua consented to finally leave the barriers, he galloped solo under jockey Tommy Berry, completing the trial course but finishing nearly 100 lengths behind his rivals.
This was the sixth time in the calendar year that Chautauqua has refused to leave the barriers in a jump-out or barrier trial, leaving his celebrated racing career in jeopardy.
Chautauqua's $8.8 million career is now at a crossroads, with his owners being forced to make a decision on the champion's racing future.