Winx’s farewell week begins


Source: Sports News /

The countdown to Winx’s last start is on in earnest with the mare the centre of attention in the streets and the corridors of power.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the mare epitomises the Australian spirit of having a go while the public has the chance to see her likeness on a wall in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.

Winx is scheduled to farewell racing in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes which, all going to plan, will be her 33rd successive win and 25th at Group One level.

Although her picture has graced many sports pages over the past four years since her winning streak began, Winx broke new ground when she appeared in the April edition of Vogue Australia.

On Monday, her jockey Hugh Bowman was given the paintbrush to put the final touches on a mural in Wynyard Park and plans are underway for a statue at Rosehill racetrack.

While Bowman, trainer Chris Waller and her owners have embraced the opportunity to share Winx with the public, the mare is following her usual routine in the lead-up to Saturday.

“She will gallop on Tuesday morning and have a hit-out on Thursday,” Waller said.

“It is the same routine as normal.”

Among her Queen Elizabeth rivals will be perennial opponents Happy Clapper and Hartnell to have one last try to beat her along with He’s Eminent, a Group Two winner in France who has stopped off in Sydney on his way to a stallion career in New Zealand.

Winx is the $1.06 favourite for the Queen Elizabeth ahead of He’s Eminent at $15 with Happy Clapper and Hartnell both at $21.

Saturday is the anniversary of the last time Winx was beaten in a race when she finished second to Gust Of Wind in the 2015 Australian Oaks.

Winx’s stablemate Verry Elleegant is the short-priced favourite to win the Oaks and perhaps be the next champion in the Waller stable having already claimed the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes.

The final field for the Queen Elizabeth will be declared on Tuesday when the runners in the Sydney Cup (3200m) will also be determined.

European visitor Dubhe is the early favourite to give Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby a second Sydney Cup to sit alongside the Melbourne Cup he won with Cross Counter.