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By Graham Potter | Sunday, April 1, 2018

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

The decision to keep Winx at home has to be respected.

Trainer Chris Waller and the owners of the mighty mare announced that decision on Wednesday officially ending all speculation as to whether Australia’s champion would make the trip to Royal Ascot or not.

Their reasons for taking the Royal Ascot option off the table were sound and totally in keeping with Waller’s management strategy that has already served Winx so well and taken her standing to legendary status.

Waller’s bottom line is a simple one. The horse comes first, and not even the lure of a possible date with the Queen would change that philosophy ... and you would think few could argue against that point.

Yet there have been those, a minority to be sure, who have criticised the decision with some even going so far as to question Winx’s champion status if she does not travel abroad.

That is a flawed view ... in all probability prompted by real disappointment which is totally understandable up to a point as, in an ideal world, we would all liked to have seen Winx go and beat top class rivals in their own back yard.

But when Waller says Winx has nothing left to prove he is spot on.

An unbeaten run going back thirty-four months, a world record total of seventeen Group 1 wins and international recognition as the best racehorse on turf spells out Winx’s grander achievements.

In there, amongst others of course, just happens to be three Cox Plate victories.

The Winx team’s decision to skip Ascot and, instead, line up a fourth Cox Plate trophy has set her on a path which, if that fourth Cox Plate victory is achieved, will take her to a new stratosphere.

And that gets us back to the superb way in which Winx’s career has been managed by Waller, the mare’s owners and, of course, Hugh Bowman who has always looked after her in the saddle.

Arguably nobody could have done it better and that is reason enough for accept the call they have made on Royal Ascot.

Why would anybody want to second guess them now?

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