Winx creates history at The Valley after winning fourth Cox Plate

Source: Herald Sun /

THERE had been hope – just maybe they could get her.

But even the handful of Australia – and the world’s – star jockeys that watched Winx breeze past them at Moonee Valley were amazed at the mare’s unparalleled brilliance in Saturday’s fourth Cox Plate triumph.

At 51, Glyn Schofield has just about seen it all in racing. But as the race reached its crescendo near the turn yesterday, he thought his mount Avilius might – just might – have Winx covered.

Until the superstar let rip.

“It was a high-pressure race,” Schofield said.

“The whole way, we were running – I’m not sure what we ran, but it felt like we were running strong sectionals.

“I looked up coming through the 1000 and Hughie (Bowman) was travelling sweet, but when he let go, I still had a bit of horse, and I thought ‘oh, you never know’.

“But then obviously she did the afterburners and the rest of us were chasing.”

Hugh Bowman returns to scale on Winx to the cheers of the crowd. Picture: AAP


While the chase was on, it was to little avail as Winx sailed to a fourth Cox Plate victory and a place in history.

Winx’s stablemate D’Argento had led early in the piece, with jockey Kerrin McEvoy pleased with his mount until its stride hit a snag thanks to the quirks of The Valley.

“We ended up in front, and got in a nice rhythm, and he used himself well,” McEvoy said.

“Obviously Ryan (Moore, on Rostropovich) came up and hassled me a little bit, but he stayed in a nice rhythm and seemed to use the energy well.

“It was just a case of not really using his stride efficiently around Moonee Valley that ended up bringing him undone. But he’s a 2000m runner and I wouldn’t be against trying it again in the future.”

But while he had led for the majority of the race, McEvoy knew Winx’s run was on its way.

“I could feel her coming, yeah,” he smiled.

Irish gun Oisin Murphy delivered a big run on Benbatl to finish second and could not have spoken more highly of Winx post-race.

“We’ve met a champion in Winx,” he declared.

“And she was very impressive today. Full credit to her team, Chris Waller, owners and Hugh Bowman.”

A year on from almost spoiling Winx’s third Cox Plate, Humidor delivered another stellar race to finish in third place with Damian Lane on board.

Lane, 24, lauded the talented stayer’s “terrific” run but admitted Winx – as she had been on so many previous occasions – had simply proven too strong.

“Obviously (I) followed her the whole way and down the side,” he said.

“When she quickened around them, I just couldn’t go with her.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Ryan Moore, pilot of Rostropovich, which finished fifth and almost nine lengths bettered by Winx.

“He had to do a lot of hard work,” he said of his mount.

“But Winx is a champion. (It was) nice to see her.”