What next for champion mare Winx

| January 30, 2018

Does champion mare Winx still have something to prove?

Champion mare Winx has dominated the Australian horseracing scene over the last two years and is now set to head overseas in search of stiffer competition. She extended her winning run to a phenomenal 22 races when beating Humidor to win the Cox Plate in October, and is now Australia’s all-time leading money earner. Now Chris Waller is seeking world domination and has pledged to send Winx to Royal Ascot in June if she is fit.

The trainer said: “If she wins the George Ryder by three lengths, and the Queen Elizabeth by two lengths she’ll be on the plane. She will go if she’s 100 per cent.” There is every reason to think Winx can achieve that with relative ease. Her last three wins have come a G1 level: the Colgate Optic White Stakes at Randwick, the Seppelt Turnbull Stakes at Flemington and the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley for a third time. Nothing seems to faze her and she has been equally dominant on a wide range of tracks and in varying conditions. Even when things went against her in the G2 Warwick Stakes, her reappearance this season, she came back from being dead last with 300m to go to sneak it by a neck from stablemate Foxplay.

There is an air of invincibility about Winx, named Horse of the Year for the last two seasons, and she will be the huge favourite for both the George Ryder and the Queen Elizabeth. William Hill will have the latest odds, make sure to review them and you will see that Winx will be in the driving seat. Last year she made it 16 wins on the trot when she ploughed through a heavy track to win by seven and a quarter lengths from Le Romain. She was $1.26 on that day and is likely to be a lot shorter this year. She then trounced Hartnell – poor Hartnell, a real star, but destined to remain in Winx’s shadow – by five lengths in the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes last year.

She is highly likely to win both comfortably this year once again, and take the 1400m Apollo Stakes on February 17, which would leave her on 25 straight wins, just one short of the record set by Black Caviar. That would then set up the intriguing prospect of her breaking Black Caviar’s record at Royal Ascot.

Waller is delighted with Winx’s form in the training paddock right now, and the British are equally thrilled by the prospect of welcoming her. “British and European racecourses are much looking forward to welcoming the great mare and her team next year if all goes according to plan,” said Royal Ascot’s Nick Smith said. “Of course Chris has experience of Royal Ascot so knows what’s involved. “Excitement is at fever pitch at home at the prospect of her taking on one or both of Cracksman and Enable.”

Enable is arguably the strongest horse in the northern hemisphere after romping to victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. It could take place in the 2018 renewal of that famous race, or both could be enticed to Ascot in June. But Cracksman is ranked even higher than Enable in the Longines World’s Best Racehorses chart. It has Arrogate at number one on 134 points, Winx second on 132, Cracksman third with 130, then Gun Runner on 129 and Enable on 128. If Winx can vanquish the likes of Cracksman and Enable in Europe, all that will remain is a showdown with Arrogate to prove who is the world’s best, and that could well come one day in the Japan Cup, which would be a tantalising prospect for horseracing fans around the world. But for now, Winx has her sites on Britain, Ascot, Enable and Cracksman.

 


Category: International

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