Retired champion Winx is to have a new public stand at Randwick Racecourse named in her honour.
Fittingly the facility is on the Leger Lawn looking directly at the 200m-marker where Winx customarily moved up to her rivals before going straight past them.
The mare recorded 20 of her 37 wins at Randwick including her final race on April 13, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The Winx Stand is a departure from the normal practice of naming such racecourse facilities after administrators and a measure of the esteem in which the great mare is held.
“It is fitting that it’s at the 200 metres. That was where she used to get to the front,” trainer Chris Waller said.
“I think it’s fitting because she filled the stands at Randwick.
“She’s now got a stand named after her. It is an honour.
“Australians love sport and she is a sporting icon.”
The new stand will be a two-storey facility with a capacity of more than 5000. Work is expected to begin after The Everest in October and be completed in time for the 2020 edition of Australia’s richest race.
The structure will be funded by the Randwick Capital Fund and is a joint venture between the Australian Turf Club and Racing NSW.
It will also be used by the ATC for non raceday events such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions and university activities.
“It is very pleasing that there now is sufficient funds in the Randwick Capital Fund which is funded by revenue Racing NSW receives from international pooling and initially from race fields revenue for these public facilities to come to fruition,” Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said.
“It’s even now more exciting and satisfying to have this public stand named after the people’s horse, Winx.
“This charismatic once in a generation champion has brought many new people to racing which in itself causes the need for new public facilities.”
Plans are also in hand to erect a statue of the mare at Rosehill Racecourse where she was trained by Chris Waller.
ATC chairman Matthew McGrath said Winx’s achievements on the track would live forever in the memories of fans.
“Winx has provided us with a lifetime of memories and now her name and career will be linked at Royal Randwick and the scene of some her most famous wins,” he said.
“Winx is an Australian sporting icon and it is fitting such a major addition to Sydney’s historic Royal Randwick racecourse is permanently named in honour of this remarkable horse.”
The mare won 37 of her 43 starts including a record 25 at Group One level and her Queen Elizabeth victory was her 33rd in succession. – AAP