Winx: World record 23rd Group One win for ‘very special’ horse
Australian wonder horse Winx set a new world record for Group 1 wins Saturday as she stretched her incredible unbeaten run to 31 races.
A hard-fought victory in the Chipping Norton Stakes at Sydney’s Royal Randwick racecourse was her 23rd in the highest class of thoroughbred racing, underlining her status as the top-rated horse on the planet.
Odds-on favorite Winx trailed early pacesetter Happy Clapper coming into the final turn of the 1600m race before producing her trademark finishing burst under jockey Hugh Bowman to win comfortably at the post.
“I know I probably looked in trouble at the 700m… but I knew she would she would find another gear and she did it with relative ease in the end, as I expected she would,” said a relieved Bowman.
“I had the horse to get me out of trouble, as she has done time and time again.”
Winx was surpassing the previous record she jointly held with the famous Irish horse Hurricane Fly, who raced over fences, twice winning the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
At seven years old the iconic mare is in the autumn of her racing career as trainer Chris Waller admitted after her latest triumph.
“I can see the sun going down, hopefully we can get through two more races,” he said.
Her final appearance is likely to be at the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in April after a career that has seen her unbeaten since April 2015, setting a string of records on the way.
She broke the Australian win record of 26 held by the legendary sprinter Black Caviar last August and has continued to rack up more victories, including her fourth straight in the prestigious Cox Plate, beating a strong international field.
Saturday’s win, her fourth in the Chipping Norton Stakes, was particularly sweet for Waller and the connections.
“She’s a superstar, very, very special,” he said.
The team around Winx can certainly look back with pride on a career that stretches back to 2014 with over $16 million of prize money accrued and with huge crowds coming to watch her perform in a country with a long tradition of horse racing.
Outside of Australia, her feats have earned her international recognition, being named the 2018 Longines Horse of the Year alongside Cracksman and since 2016 the top-ranked turf racing horse based on form and performances.