Winx claims a Group One world record
Source: AAP /
The best horse in the world has given the fans what they came for with Winx claiming a world-record 17th Group One win in the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill.
Her winning streak stands at 24 after Saturday’s George Ryder win against five well-credentialed rivals who made her work a little harder than normal over 1500 metres.
But the threat from three-year-old Kementari failed to materialise with the popular Happy Clapper the one to put it to the champion, running her to three-quarters of a length.
Not so much for the thought she might get beaten, more that she returns safely and does her best.
“I can’t explain it. There has been a bit of pressure leading up to today,” Waller said.
“She makes my job a lot easier because she does what she does.
“I was a little bit concerned when I knew Happy Clapper won so well first-up and he’s a horse we have so much respect for and Kementari not just winning the Randwick Guineas but winning the two lead-ups as well.
“They are two quality horses and it was good for her today. It made her lift.”
Winx was sent out the $1.16 favourite to win the race with Kementari at $8.50 and Happy Clapper at $21.
Although her winning margin was nothing like the seven lengths in the Chipping Norton Stakes, her ever-calm jockey Hugh Bowman said she did what she needed to do.
“It was a bit of a tactical race,” he said.
“They are high class horses and I’ve never treated her opposition with disrespect. I’ve always treated them with the respect they deserve.
“Happy Clapper is a supreme athlete and this mare is just better than them. I have so much confidence in her.
“She gave me such a thrilling feeling as she did everyone watching here today.
“I could feel the crowd erupt as we went to the front at the 200 metres.
“What a special, special horse she is and I’m just so grateful to be her jockey.
“Each horse is an individual but this horse has captivated the attention of the world.”
For dual Group One winner Happy Clapper’s trainer Pat Webster, running second to Winx yet again is something he accepts as part of life.
“It’s just amazing to have a horse like him,” Webster said.
“I’m so lucky. Even at the 200 or the 300 he was still giving plenty of cheek, wasn’t he.
“You dare to dream don’t you?
“But that’s like winning for us.”
Happy Clapper is the second favourite for the Doncaster Mile in two weeks with the James Cummings-trained Godolphin colt Kementari the favourite.
“I’m over the moon with that,” Cummings said.
“He hit the line beautifully and he’s raced against serious weight-for-age horses, been beaten less than two lengths by the best horse in the world.”