‘Keep the speed’: Legend’s plan to create Winx 2.0
Legendary US trainer Bob Baffert has revealed how he advised Chris Waller and Winx's owners to breed the wonder mare with his American Triple Crown winner Justify.
As Baffert expressed his admiration for the retired queen of the Australian turf, he told the Herald Sun this week that Waller deserved "an Academy Award" for guiding Winx to 37 wins, including an astounding 33 in a row.
"Horses like that are great for racing," Baffert said. "When you have won that many (races), you develop a huge fan base and she deserves that."
"It makes (people) feel good about themselves and you get away from your normal lives for a bit.
"I got emotional because of Chris Waller and I would get nervous for him. I know the sort of pressure he was under and he did an unbelievable job to keep her that good for that long.
"He should get like an Academy Award for what he did with her."
Winx drew the curtain on her breathtaking career when she won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Sydney last month.
Her owners - Peter Tighe, Debbie Kepidis and Richard Treweeke - have been consulting with a range of worldwide bloodstock experts on the best stallion prospects for Winx's much anticipated first mating.
Baffert has given a huge push for last year's Triple Crown winner Justify, who will stand his first season at Coolmore Stud in the Hunter Valley later this year.
He nominated it above his other Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh, who will also stand at Coolmore Australia this year.
"I told them (Waller and Winx's connections) that they better bring her to Justify," Baffert told the Herald Sun.
"Keep the speed ... don't breed her to a grass stayer because it (the progeny) could be slow."
While Justify is unproven as this is only his first season in the breeding barns, a mating with Winx would see the resulting goal become one of the most valuable in the world.
Justify will stand for an undisclosed fee in Australia later this year.
The son of Scat Daddy franked his credentials by winning the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes last year.
Winx's owners have long been tipped to choose a proven stallion for her first union, but they gave said all options are being considered.
Among the options include sending her to be served in northern hemisphere time by the likes of superstar stallions Deep Impact (Japan), Galileo (Ireland) and Frankel (England), or keeping her closer to home with champion Australian sires Snitzel, I Am Invincible, Fastnet Rock and Zoustar.
Winx's connections haven't ruled out going to an unproven stallion, with Waller's other superstar The Autumn Sun among those under consideration.