News of the unbeaten winning run of Australia’s champion mare and world’s highest rated turf performer Winx is, by definition, becoming repetitive but certainly no less newsworthy.
The next episode is played out this Saturday, at Randwick, when she contests the G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) - one of six simulcast races from the Sydney meeting - and shoots for a 17th consecutive win and a 12th at Group 1 level.
Victory would see her match the winning streak of Hong Kong sprinting legend Silent Witness, who won the first 17 races of his career, and leave her just two shy of the 19 consecutive victories recorded by USA champion Zenyatta who, like Winx, is a daughter of the stallion Street Cry.
And victory looks as inevitable as it can be in horse racing, given her 7.3 lengths win in the G1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at her latest run. Subsequent winner Chautauqua was beaten 8.6 lengths into third place in that race.
Not to mention that she won her most recent start, in Saturday’s 2000 metres distance range, by eight lengths when successful in last October’s G1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
The Chris Waller trained mare’s career record now stands at 20 wins from 26 starts (for AUS$10.4 million in stakes). She’s won nine races at Saturday’s venue and been successful on good, soft and heavy rated tracks so it’s a forlorn quest for rivals to find a chink in her armour.
Waller believes the mare is in ‘excellent order’ despite having to contend with extremely heavy ground in her past two wins.
Waller said, “It was touch and go a couple of times as to whether she would run on those very heavy tracks but the ground doesn’t worry her and she’s come through the runs very well. She had a nice gallop between races last Saturday and I’d say everything’s in order.”
Winx has drawn barrier three in Saturday’s race and will face eight rivals headed by the Pat Webster trained Happy Clapper, who backs up from running second in last week’s G1 Doncaster Mile and who was third in last year’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Saturday’s meeting also features the G1 Australian Oaks (2400m) for three-year-old fillies in which the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained Bonneval will be fancied to record her fourth successive win.
The training combine won last Saturday’s G1 Australian Derby (2400m) with Jon Snow. It was New Zealander Baker’s 19th Group 1 win in Australia and no trainer, from that country has had more success in Australia’s major races.