Winx holds top spot in world rankings

| June 26, 2018

Winx holds top spot as Cracksman fails at Royal Ascot.

Winx’s position at the top of the world rankings is safe after rival Cracksman flopped in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Ascot. This month Longines released its list of the world’s best racehorses and the Australian wonder mare held onto top spot. She enjoyed a rating of 130, with American horse Gun Runner second on 129, followed by Cracksman at 125 in the definitive list. Cracksman had a glorious opportunity to soar to the top of the world rankings at Ascot last week, but it ended in disaster for John Gosden’s four-year old.

He went off as the 2/5 favourite, but left festival crowds stunned by slumping to a two-and-a-quarter lengths defeat to Poet’s World. It was an uninspiring display from Europe’s most highly rated horse and jockey Frankie Detorri said: “He’s not the same animal I’ve been riding in the spring. He was very lethargic. Usually the turbo kicks in turning for home but he was very one-paced today. I had a good spot but that’s not the Cracksman we know.”

Cracksman was the only serious rival to Winx’s crown as the world’s greatest, but he has now fallen away. Enable looks like a strong runner, but Winx remains the champion of champions. In one way, it vindicated Chris Waller’s decision not to send her to Ascot, but she would surely have destroyed the field in the Queen Anne Stakes had she travelled. That was the race she was being lined up for, and organisers were desperate to secure her presence, but ultimately Waller decided against it, in fear of jeopardising her preparations for her bid to win a fourth consecutive Cox Plate.

“Winx has nothing left to prove to anyone, she is and always will be regarded as a legend of the turf,” Waller said. “As a group we have all held ambitions to travel horses internationally and it has been our dream to have a horse race in front of Her Majesty the Queen at Royal Ascot. However, this decision is not about us and must be based on the best interests of Winx. That’s the best way to keep her racing a little bit longer.”

Winx is now six years old and the window of opportunity to send her abroad has passed. She would have destroyed the field in the Queen Anne Stakes, where the going was good to firm and the big guns all flopped. It was claimed by the unheralded Accidental Agent, while Lord Glitters, who has an official rating of 107, took the runner up position. Winx would have won it easily and she could have further her reputation on the world stage, but as Waller rightly says, she has nothing left to prove.

She now has a chance of going down in history by landing yet another Cox Plate, which could cement her status as Australia’s greatest racehorse of all time. She is the odds-on favourite to pull off victory at the October showpiece, with a price of around $1.44.

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