Bowman: No Royal Ascot regrets and returning Winx looks amazing

Source: James Burn /

Winx’s rider Hugh Bowman slipped his leg across the magnificent mare for the first time since April on Thursday morning and had some ominous words for her rivals when saying she looks amazing.

The record-breaking daughter of Street Cry, who would have been the star turn at Royal Ascot but did not make the trip from Australia, is being readied for a return to action at Randwick on August 18, when she will aim for a hat-trick in the race that used to be known as the Warwick Stakes, but has now been named in honour of the world’s best horse and elevated to top-level status.

She was last seen winning the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in April when she captured her 25th straight victory and 18th in Group 1 company, equalling the haul of the legendary Black Caviar.

Bowman has been aboard the Chris Waller-trained Winx for 25 of her 33 starts and was left purring after being reacquainted with the first lady of Australian racing.

He has no regrets about missing out on Royal Ascot where the Queen Anne Stakes – won by largely considered 33-1 shot Accidental Agent – would have been the likely target for the apple of his eye.

“I think if Winx had travelled well, it’s obvious she would have won the race, but we’ll never know,” Bowman told the Racing Post.

“You can’t be everywhere and I don’t think anyone is worrying about what could or would have been.

“The decision was made and everyone was happy with it. Hopefully we’ll see her come back in good form here in Australia and continue to race on.”

An historic fourth triumph in the Ladbrokes-sponsored Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 27 is the main goal for Winx, who will likely follow a tried-and-trusted route there.

Winx form and stats

Bowman, recently returned to Australia following a friend’s wedding in the US, added: “I sat on her on Thursday morning, which was the first time I’ve been on her since she won the Queen Elizabeth in April; she looks amazing.

“She felt great. I did a little bit of pace work over five furlongs and I think – I don’t know – it was her first time on the grass. She’ll be about two or three weeks from having a barrier trial.

“It’ll probably be an identical programme to last year and the Warwick Stakes, which has been renamed the Winx Stakes, is where she’ll start all going well. I guess once we get through that Chris will decide what path he takes, but I think it’ll be much like last year.”