Dubai: Godolphin are poised to launch an audacious two-pronged assault in a bid to lower the colours of Winx, the darling of the Australian turf and the imperious winner of her last 28 races, in Saturday’s A$5 million (Dh12,9 million) Cox Plate at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
Saeed Bin Surour, the stable’s British and Dubai-based handler is represented by Benbatl, a defiant winner of the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes on his most recent start, while Godolphin’s Australian trainer, James Cummings, sends out Avilus, winner of three consecutive Group 3 contests.
Winx, who represents the ultimate challenge for the all-powerful Godolphin operation, has shown no signs of slowing down in over three years of dominating performances on the Australian turf.
Among her 28 straight victories are a record 21 Group 1 wins. Which have come over distances ranging from 1,300 metres to 2,200 metres.
While Godolphin have shown her the utmost respect they are also excited to be having a go at what will be a historic upset should they succeed where no other trainer has since May 2015.
Cummings added: “We are all in awe of Winx, she is a champion and deserving Cox Plate favourite.
“It is interesting when there is a dominant champion like Winx as all the pressure is on them, There is no pressure on us and we are hoping Avilius will be running a nice race late.”
“Avilius does so well, he sees the reflection of himself in his feed bin every morning, and he needs this run to keep him ticking over. He is coming back to 2,000m which he enjoys and this race will stimulate him mentally for the Melbourne Cup,” he told news.com.au
At a glance
Group 1 Cox Plate (2,040m)
1. Benbatl (Saeed Bin Surour) O Murphy (3) 59kg
2. Humidor (Darren Weir) D Lane (7) 59kg
3. Kings Will Dream (Darren Weir) J Allen (4) 59kg
4. Avilius (James Cummings) G Schofield (1) 59kg
5. D’Argento (Chris Waller) K McEvoy (2) 57.5kg
6. Winx (Chris Waller) H Bowman (6) 57kg
7. Rostropovich (Aidan O’Brien) R Moore (8) 56kg
8. Savvy Coup (Michael & Matthew Pitman) C Johnson (5) 55.5kg