World Record 23 Group wins for Australian champion Winx (AUS)

Winx (AUS) completed a magnificent feat winning the 2019 renewal of the $600,000, Group 1 WFA Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday to claim a world record 23 Group 1’s wins, her 35th overall win, 31 wins in succession and equalling Tie The Knot’s four Chipping Norton Stakes wins from 1999 to 2002.

Winx (AUS) and Hugh Bowman (right) passing Happy Clapper (AUS) and Blake Shinn, picture
Winx (AUS) and Hugh Bowman (right) passing Happy Clapper (AUS) and Blake Shinn, picture

The Chris Waller trained seven-year-old Street Cry mare hunted down the runaway leader Happy Clapper (AUS) under Blake Shinn and went past with 125m to go away to win with a 1 3/4L margin. Franking the win the mare stopped the clock at 1.33.27 breaking her 2016 record in the race of 1.33.92. The final 600m was timed at 34.96 on the Good 4 rated track.

The race was set up by Shinn who took Happy Clapper, the only horse in the field who was not trained by Waller, to the lead, a very long lead. This immediately spread out the seven strong field with Egg Tart under Brenton Avdulla the only immediate chaser.

Passing the 1200m the margin back to Winx and Hugh Bowman was 7L and this essentially remained the same as they went up to, and then across the High Street side.

At the 800m Bowman decided to up the tempo and he sent Winx up a gear. However Shinn had also increased the tempo so at the 600m the margin was still the same. There was more urgency in the crowd than since when Winx missed her starts last season as the gap between the two seemed too big.

Then it all changed. As Happy Clapper, Egg Tart and Winx entered the main straight the gap started to narrow. Passing the 400m the margin was down to 4L and Happy Clapper was feeling the pace after coming up the hill. With every metre the margin narrowed again, 2L at the 300m and 1L at the 200m and it was all over.

Riding Winx hands and heels Bowman had her flash past Happy Clapper before the 100m and the low flying athlete zeroed in on the line.

Happy Clapper (Teofilo) was outstanding in second with Unforgotten (AUS) (Fastnet Rock) and Kerrin McEvoy come through got third, the margin 3 3/4L. Egg Tart (AUS) was fourth and Libran (IRE) fifth.

“It was certainly no easy feat. I thought Winx would either beat him if they go too slow or they go too fast. I would say they almost got it right. Under pressure she is very good,” said Waller.

“It was a good test for her and will bring her on nicely for the next couple of runs because they need stimulating. They need to do it under race conditions to get that. It is looking good for three weeks’ time and then three weeks after that.”

“When you watch the replay, at the 700m you would have thought well she was out of business, and another jockey riding her may have thought that, but I knew when I balanced up, there was no way that Happy Clapper could sustain that speed, and I knew that when she balanced up she would have the energy required to reel him in. To be honest, although I was pushing her, she did it with relative ease,” said Bowman.

“I have a lot of respect for Blake, he is one of the jockey’s out there who will go out and do something different.

“With the small field it sort of makes it easy to overcome those sort of tactics, I have just got to be aware of it,” he said.

“What can I say about my horse? He put up a Group 1-winning performance but there are no superlatives you can say about the winner. She just a freak and she had to put up a freakish performance to beat Happy Clapper,” said Shinn.

Winx, out of the Al Akbar mare Vega Showgirl, was racing for the 41st time earning stakes of $23,424,675 for owners Richard Treweeke, Debbie Kapitis and Peter Tighe’s Magic Bloodstock.