Winx immortalised with bronze statue at Rosehill Gardens
Great mare Winx and her regular jockey Hugh Bowman have been immortalised in a magnificent bronze statue at Rosehill Gardens.
The iconic pose could have been from any of Winx’s 33 consecutive wins.
The champion mare, ears pricked and proud of herself after another race win, her jockey, Hugh Bowman giving his famous “she’s apples” salute to the crowd.
This famous image has now been immortalised for eternity with the unveiling of a bronze statue in her honour at Rosehill Gardens yesterday.
Sculptor Tanya Bartlett has made a remarkably detailed sculpture of Winx and Bowman, a labour of love that took her 14 months, weighs more than 700kg and has been created to 110 per cent of actual size.
Bowman was taken aback by the likeness of horse and rider in the sculpture.
“It’s hard to try and describe in words, the detail and the accuracy of the statue is extraordinary – it’s so real, so good,’’ Bowman said.
The new Winx statue outside Rosehill Gardens. Picture: Jason McCawley/Getty
“We are all very proud of what she achieved and the role we played in her career. She is an Australian icon and will be talked about for eternity.’’
The Winx statue, fully funded by the Australian Turf Club, will be the first thing the racing public sees when they walk onto the track at Rosehill Gardens for the Coolmore Classic meeting on Saturday.
Situated just inside the Might And Power entrance to the track, the statue, surrounded by a beautifully manicured garden, will be accessible to the public.
“It is so touching that every time I walk through the gates at Rosehill now I can say hello to Winx,’’ part-owner Debbie Kepitis said.
Her trainer Chris Waller said the statue is a permanent reminder and tribute to Winx’s greatness.
“Winx is proof that dreams can turn into reality in his sport,’’ Waller said.
Racing Minister Kevin Anderson unveiled the Winx sculpture before more than 150 invited guests.
Hugh Bowman and Tanya Bartlett in front of the Winx statue. Picture: Jason McCawley/Getty
Bruce McAvaney, the voice of Australian sport, paid Winx the ultimate compliment.
“If the Australian Racing Hall of Fame was invented tomorrow, Winx would be first pick – I don’t have to say anymore, she would be first pick,’’ McAvaney said.
McAvaney said Winx’s final start in the 2019 Queen Elizabeth Stakes will forever be remembered as one of the greatest moments in Australian racing history.
“I was lucky enough to be there when ‘The Diva’ won her third (Makybe’s third Melbourne Cup) and Winx’s fourth (Cox Plate) but I don’t think the sport has anything bigger to offer than the day Winx went through the tunnel onto the track and around to the barriers for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes,’’ McAvaney said.
“We thought we did but we didn’t really know how the fairytale would finish – we do now.’’
#Winx tragically lost her first foal, a filly by I Am Invincible that was still-born last October.
But after a few harrowing weeks, the champion mare has now made a complete recovery.
“She is Winx, she is tough, she fought through it,’’ said Kepitis, renewing hope the mare can eventually become a mother in the future.