I thought it was an absolutely stunning performance from Winker in the July Stakes – everything went wrong and we still won. I couldn’t have a higher opinion of the horse. We have believed for a while now that it would be an understatement to just call him a classy horse – his work at home suggests he is very special, and he is viewed as something of a freak.
John Francome said on C4 that he looks more like a 3yo than a 2yo, and others have said this – he is unusually well developed. A lot of this is down to Genetics, but the trainer has done an amazing job getting him so fit, and I think Winker’s very good attitude plays a part as he gets on with his work so well. It promises to be a very exciting season.
I had a good chat with Pete today. He thinks we should target the Prix Morny and then the Middle Park – if all goes well then we may consider one more race before the season’s end, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
In terms of the question of whether he will get the mile next year, we are hopeful. His dam, Bonica, was by Rousillon – he stayed 10f and almost all of Bonica’s progeny have stayed at least a mile. Tom Goff bought Winker for us and he also bought Dutch Art – he knows them both extremely well. His view is that Dutch Art has more right than Winker on pedigree to get the mile, but on the basis of confirmation and temperament Winker looks a more likely stayer. I think confirmation is a stronger indicator than pedigree, and I believe he will stay. I reason as follows;
1) The pedigree does not give a clear picture
2) He’s very laid back and apparently has the appearance of a stayer
3) I thought he won the July Stakes in the fashion of a stayer