Pundits thought that Bowman’s suspension would allow Chris Waller to engage a rider who could then become a backup in future if Bowman was not available for Winx. However, Waller was categorical that he had never given such an idea much thought and said that he would never entertain the idea of giving out Winx to another Jockey. Among the riders he mentioned, who could be considered to ride Winx is Kerrin McEvoy. However, the Jockey was not available on the Apollo Stakes Day because he was in Melbourne with Redzel who was contesting Black Caviar Lightning.
Hugh Bowman took advantage of his suspension and was in Randwick where he rode Winx in the trial. Winx easily won the trial which illustrated that she still had the power and was in her own class. The 6-year old was able to build a gap in the first few hundred meters and created some distance between her and the other stablemates where she won the first race day appearance easily. This was the first appearance after she won the third Cox Plate last year. Even though the win will not become her 23 consecutive wins, Peter Tighe said that Winx was in good shape and did what she was expected to do. The mare will contest the Chipping Norton Stakes which will be held on March 3, so Bowman believes that the barrier trial would help to keep her to the mark.
Winx opened up the gap after the 500m mark and won the race easily. The crowd at Randwick began to applause at the 200-meter mark, and by the end of the race, she had built a gap of 3 ¾ lengths with Mackintosh and unforgotten. Waller said that he wanted her to feel that she was in a race, a thing that helped her to do her work pretty well. He said that he knew where she is now and so they still have two weeks to have her ready even to run a mile. She covered the 1200m in 1.10.4 which gave Bowman a feel that she was ready for the Norton Stakes. She was nice and relaxed and ran through the last six hundred meters in 33.5 seconds.
Bowman said that at some point, he felt the engine would burn, but when he asked Winx to jump into the bridle, the mare responded well and in a relaxed manner.