Winx is galloping with the greats now. The mighty mare has chased down Kingston Town, Tulloch is next and she is closing on Phar Lap and Bernborough.
Sydney’s superstar made it 11 consecutive wins with a typically dominant effort in the Group 1 $500,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) before 13,099 race fans at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
But raceday wasn’t without its drama hours before Winx even arrived on course.
Trainer Chris Waller had notified stewards that the mare had sustained a minor abrasion to the inside of her nearside knee.
The stable vet reported no lameness or tenderness and said she was fit to run. However, when she arrived at the track, Racing NSW vet Craig Suann inspected her before passing her fit to race.
Where Waller’s wonder mare rates among the best is still a contentious debate and Saturday’s race, which was really nothing more than an exercise gallop, can hardly be used as a true measure. But all the champion mare can do is beat those racing against her and she is doing that with a ruthless efficiency now.
Winx’s winning streak continues and Waller, like all racing fans, is enjoying the ride.
“There is nothing like that winning feeling. The dream continues,’’ Waller said.
Winx’s reputation grows with every win and her developing record is becoming comparable to some of the all-time greats of Australian racing. The records tumbled with yesterday’s runaway romp, including:
Winx lifted her prizemoney over the $7 million prizemoney barrier, the fourth mare to achieve the feat after Makybe Diva, Sunline and Black Caviar.
She scored her seventh Group 1 win, equalling Makybe Diva’s record in majors.
Her winning streak of 11 equals the legendary Kingston Town’s longest sequence of wins.
Winx’s odds of $1.09 is the shortest favourite in a Sydney Group 1 race this century.
Despite missing the start slightly, Winx made winning a Group 1 look effortless and routine as she cruised past Hauraki ($12) to win by one-and-a-quarter lengths with It’s Somewhat ($26) more than three lengths away third.
“It was a tradesmanlike win but she only does what we ask her to do, hence the reason she never wins a barrier trial,’’ Waller said.
“She has had four weeks between runs so we didn’t want to give her a gut-buster, either.
“So we can go to the Caulfield Stakes in three weeks and then two weeks after that to the Cox Plate. This has always been the original plan and nothing has changed there. You always look at other races but it looks to fit in nicely, to have a run at 2000m on the left leg.
“Caulfield is probably not perfect for a Sydney horse first time, she just has got the ability.’’
Bowman said Winx came through the race well but had a “good blow” afterwards, indicating the mare will improve considerably into the Caulfield Stakes,
“She is going to meet better horses now, she’s ticked this box but I’m under no illusions. We only saw Hartnell win here 40 minutes ago and he put a margin on his opposition.
“She’s beaten inferior opposition today, but there is going to be nowhere to hide when we get to Melbourne.”
Bowman said Winx is taking him on a “very special ride”.
“My job is to ride her, focus on her, I’ve got plenty of other rides as well, it’s not just her. She is a lovely headline act to have of course,’’ he said. “Other trainers, other owners and other jockeys really respect a horse like this, I’ve done it before with champions in the past, she is just ticking every box as she goes and it’s just an honour to be a part of it.”
Waller said Winx’s George Main Stakes win was “never going to be a gap job.’’
“It wasn’t intended to be either,’’ Waller added. “She’s had four weeks between runs, just need to know where she is, plus we needed to win here as there are bigger targets.”
AUSTRALIA’S ALL-TIME LEADING PRIZEMONEY EARNERS
1 Makybe Diva $14,526,690
2 Sunline $11,351,610
3 Northerly $9,341,850
4 So You Think $8,813,497
5 Black Caviar $7,953,936
6 Criterion $7,268,869
7 Buffering $7,267,694
8 WINX $7,130,425
9 Chautauqua $6,536,935
10 Fields Of Omagh $6,496,240
25 Black Caviar
19 Gloaming, Desert Gold
15 Bernborough, Carbine
14 Phar Lap
12 Tulloch, Firestick
11 Kingston Town, WINX, Eurythmic, Beau Livre, Somerset Fair, Barakey
The Daily Telegraph