The attraction of a champion racehorse

The attraction of a sporting champion is powerful and it has been emphasised once again with the world rankled mare Winx (AUS) from ARF member Australia set to ensure that Moonee Valley racecourse in Melbourne will have a modern day record crowd for the 2018 Group 1 WS Cox Plate.

Winx and Hugh Bowman winning the 2018 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington, picture
Winx and Hugh Bowman winning the 2018 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington, picture

The Moonee Valley Racing Club last week reported that Winx magic has the 2018 WS Cox Plate meeting set for a record crowd of nearly 39,000 on October 27th.

The Chris Waller trained mare is looking to win an unprecedented fourth W.S. Cox Plate.

"Since the announcement was made by trainer Chris Waller in March that Winx would stay in Australia and race on through the Spring Carnival, the level of interest in the 2018 Ladbrokes Cox Plate has been unprecedented," said Michael Browell, CEO Moonee Valley Racing Club.

The announcement came in the same week that Winx retained her top placing in the eighth edition of the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings for 2018 for 3yos and upwards which raced between 1st January and 7th October 2018.

Rated 130, Winx took the TAB Turnbull Stakes (G1) at Flemington to win her 28th consecutive race to retain her top placing.

Other ARF jurisdiction runners to feature in the latest edition of rankings include the highest rated newcomer Beauty Generation (NZ) at 123, who won the Celebration Cup Handicap (G3) in Hong Kong in his first start since his victory in the Champions Mile (G1) this April.

Beauty Generation, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
Beauty Generation, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club

The Australian trained Godolphin runner Hartnell (GB) was rated at 121 after taking the TAB Epsom Handicap (G1) at Randwick in Sydney.
Additionally, Grunt (NZ), rated 120, impressed in the PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (G1) at Flemington.

In news from Japan this weekend Almond Eye (JPN) won the last leg of the Three-Year-Old Fillies’ Triple, the Grade 1 Shuka Sho (2000m) at Kyoto to become the fifth Triple Crown winner in JRA history after previously claiming both the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) and the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) earlier in the season.

Previous Triple Crown fillies were Mejiro Ramonu (1986), Still in Love (2003), Apapane (2010) and Gentildonna (2012).

Almond Eye was runner-up in her two-year-old career debut, won her only other start that year and kicked off her three-year-old campaign with her first grade-race victory in the Shinzan Kinen (G3) followed by her three consecutive G1 victories in the fillies’ G1 triple. Her career record stands at five wins out of six career starts.

Trainer Sakae Kunieda became the winner of a Triple Crown filly for the second time after Apapane in 2010 and his JRA-G1 titles totals 14 with the Shuka Sho win. Jockey Christophe Lemaire collected his 18th JRA-G1 title—his last G1 victory was with Mozu Ascot in the Yasuda Kinen this year.