FINGERS CROSSED

Wednesday 15, 2018 2:00 PM By Best Bets

The ATC is rolling out the blue carpet by putting on the Winx Stakes, newly rebadged and elevated to Group 1 status — a move made possible by the mare herself lending her hefty rating to the race by winning the then Warwick Stakes in 2016 and 2017.

It’s not often a horse gets to run in its own race, though Black Caviar did so in 2013 when the VRC renamed its premier 1000-metre event the Black Caviar Lightning.

That went according to plan, as the $1.10 favourite put on a devastating display of sustained speed to beat Moment of Change by 2½ lengths in 55.42, a track record that still stands.

Should Winx stick to the script on Saturday, she’ll surpass Black Caviar’s mark of 25 straight wins and she’s at a Black Caviar-like price to do so, having “blown” from $1.10 to $1.12 on Tuesday morning with the announcement of Kementari as a late entry for the Winx Stakes.

That $1.12 doesn’t seem especially generous when you recall last year’s Warwick Stakes, where Winx ($1.10) bombed the start and needed every inch of the Randwick straight to run down stablemate Foxplay.

Hearts were in mouths at Winx’s next start, too, when she had to pull out most of the stops to catch tearaway leader Red Excitement.

This Saturday Winx faces four fellow Group 1 winners, though all four — Kementari, Ace High, D’Argento and Unforgotten — won their majors at three, against fellow three-year-olds.

All four are new-season four-year-olds, which is good news for Winx. Remarkably, no four-year-old has won the Winx/Warwick Stakes since Sunline in 1999.