Winx (AUS) completes her autumn campaign with a brilliant Group 1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes win at Randwick
The imperious Australian racemare Winx (AUS) lived right up to her star billing in the Group 1, Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) with another awe-inspiring victory in front of a record crowd at Randwick on Saturday.
The Chris Waller trained Winx, the current joint highest rated horse in the latest LONGINES World's Best Racehorse Rankings, the official listing of the world’s best racehorses for three-year-olds and upwards which raced between 1st January and 5th March 2017, recorded a remarkable 17th consecutive victory and took her stakes earnings to A$12,778,930.
This makes Winx the second highest stakes earner in Australian racing history behind the four times Melbourne Cup winning mare Makybe Diva (GB).
On Saturday the Queen Elizabeth Stakes always shaped up as yet another elite event ready for the taking by the undisputed Australian Queen of the Turf and the freak racemare did not disappoint when producing the latest in a long-line of sublime performances.
Sent to post an unbackable favourite with regular partner Hugh Bowman in the saddle, the virtually unbeatable horse-rider partnership were again seen at their breathtaking best.
Ridden at the head of the second group of horses behind the early leader No Doubt (AUS), Hartnell (GB), The United States (IRE) and Happy Clapper (AUS), Winx travelled through the first half of the race in her customary carefree manner.
The complexion of the contest then took on an acutely different appearance when James Doyle, aboard Hartnell, upped-the-ante fully 700-800 metres from the finishing line, seizing the lead and kicking for home. However, any chance of a boilover was quickly extinguished as Bowman eased closer to the lead and was then left in front at the 300-metre mark.
The final 300m witnessed Winx exert her vast superiority over her rivals, careering away from her opposition for yet another emphatic victory at the very highest level of thoroughbred competition in Australia. Hartnell was second with Sense Of Occasion third.
The winning margin was 5 1/4L to go with her previous autumn winning margins of 2 3/4L, 2L and 7 1/4L in previous race, the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 18th.
“She is just so dominant. I do not think you see the best of her when it is that sort of race. I mean she is obviously still good. She wheeled passed them at the top of the straight and she still let down," said Bowman.
“Honestly, I think when she gets in a high pressure race, when there is a lot of pace from the start like there was in last year’s Cox Plate, that is when you see the best of her. What a supreme athlete she is and what an honour it is to just be a part of her career," he said.
“She has had a perfect preparation, pretty much. She makes everything look perfect really though. She makes me look like a genius. It should all be about Winx. Everywhere she goes people follow her and it’s very heart-warming," said Waller.
“It’s just a big relief for the day to be finally here and to have the job done. It’s indescribable really. We take it as it comes. She is doing great things," he added.
Saturday's win was the last of her 2017 autumn campaign of four races for four wins to take her remarkable career statistics to 21 wins, 12 at Group 1 level, and three second places. Waller will now spell Winx with the aim of winning a third Group 1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October.