Winx sibling set to make racetrack debut

By: Mandy Cottell Sunday 7 June 2020

Almost six years to the day since Winx made a winning debut at Warwick Farm, her half-sister Covent Garden will kick off her racetrack career at the same western Sydney venue.

Winx posted the first of 37 wins in a midweek race on June 4, 2014 and Covent Garden will be given the chance to do likewise six years and two days later.

Like her famous big sister, Covent Garden is trained by Chris Waller and will be ridden by Winx's regular jockey Hugh Bowman.

Bowman has already been a large part of Covent Garden's journey and while loathe to draw any similarities between the siblings, he says the two-year-old is a lovely horse in her own right.

"She is a bit new, she's certainly not the ready-made article at this stage but she's a decent filly," Bowman said.

"She is working really well at home and her trials have been good.

"She is ready to race but she is going to improve from any experience she has. You could see she was a bit raw in her trial but she got a chance to stick her head out late which was good."

Covent Garden won the latest of three barrier trials under vigorous riding from Bowman, who said his encouragement was part of her education process as she learns the craft of winning.

The filly has been retained by her breeder, John Camilleri, who also bred Winx before selling her as a yearling at the premier Magic Millions auction.

Covent Garden has drawn second from the outside in the Sky Active Plate (1200m) on Monday but Bowman expects her to line up despite the tricky alley.

"She is strong, she is still raw, Chris has been very patient with her and my understanding is she will run Monday," Bowman said.

Covent Garden has also been nominated for a two-year-old maiden at Canterbury on Wednesday.