There's nothing left to prove for the champion mare, but a win tomorrow will see her equal Black Caviar's record of 25-straight victories.

By Joe McDonough


Posted on April 13, 2018

“The mare’s missed the start by four lengths… in a sensation Winx is last.”

Gunning for her 18th straight win, the six-year-old wonder mare had already notched 12 Group 1 victories, including two Cox Plates — the premier weight-for-age race in the country.

She had been named the planet’s best horse on turf for the 2016 season, and even non-racing enthusiasts were jostling to get a good view of her at the track or on television.

Then in the 2017 Warwick Stakes, the country had to hold its collective breath when she made a horrible mess of the start.

She had to work just to tack herself onto the tail of the field, and punters will know that when this happens you may as well scrunch up your bet-slip and find the nearest bin for your three-point attempt.

Jockey Hugh Bowman steered her wide and she started to accelerate 200 metres before the rest of her rivals.

She had to run out of steam in the straight, but you couldn’t turn away.

She began to close the gap to the leader, but most were resigned to the fact it was going to be a valiant effort after the worst possible start. Even with 50 metres to go, or the blink of an eye, the situation was “desperate”.

But she just kept flying in the shadows of the post and, “Winx dives… Yes, she got up!”

Winx epitomised the quality that separates good gallopers from champions, that unbendable will to finish first.

 

Sectional analyst Vince Accardi said it was one of the fastest, if not the fastest, last 600 metres on record at Randwick Racecourse for a 1400-metre race.

Those heart-in-mouth moments have been otherwise non-existent since her 24-straight winning sequence began on the Sunshine Coast three years ago.

She went on to add a third Cox Plate to her CV in October last year, only the second horse after the legendary Kingston Town to have achieved the feat.

She has also become Australia’s greatest ever prize-money earner (now more than $16 million), and was once again named the best on grass at the Longines World’s Best Racehorse ceremony in London.

The one accolade missing IS the world’s best. Arrogate, the now-retired American colt that swept both the Pegasus and Dubai World Cups in 2017, pipped our Winx to officially take the mantle for the second year in a row.

Now, though, the world sees Winx as the number one racehorse on the Earth. And this could be seen at Rosehill’s trackwork session yesterday.

“Chris [Waller] you are not just a trainer in this case but you are a steward of the best horse in the world?” American racing channel TVG’s Mike Joyce asked.

He was flanked by reporters from Japan, Korea, France, and the UK.

Anticipation is at fever pitch this week because tomorrow at 3.05pm (local time) Winx will be shooting for her 25th win in succession in the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick, equalling the unbeaten record of Black Caviar — our recent superstar sprinter.

With connections recently making the tough decision not to chase glory abroad this preparation, it will be yet another feather in the cap on the way to a tilt at an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate.

“We have been in this situation for two and a half years. It has been three years this winning streak,” Waller said.

“The first six to 12 months there wasn’t a lot of pressure but since then she has captured the racing world, then the sporting world and now the general public.

“With that she has created overseas attention, which we are very proud of.”

Bowman added: “It dawned on me a while ago when people from the outside of the world come to you. People who have seen lots of good horses – jockeys, trainers, strappers – and all they want to know about is Winx,” the experienced hoop explained.

“They watch her in awe, the way she travels up against good opposition and beats them comfortably… She is world famous.”

And the world’s best.