Winx elevated herself to immortal status with a truly magical win in today’s Group One $5 million WS Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
The champion, lauded by many as the greatest galloper Australia has ever seen, made history when she became the first racehorse to win four runnings of the race regarded as the weight-for-age championship of the Southern Hemisphere.
Sent out a hot favourite and roared onto the track by an adoring sell-out crowd, Winx was able to sit in fourth and fifth place during the early and middle stages before Hugh Bowman asked her to move around runners heading past the school.
From that point the result was never in doubt as she got to the second favourite Benbatl before striding clear to win by a widening two length margin. Last year’s runner up Humidor ran third, another two and three quarter lengths back.
Connections of Winx expressed their pride for what was a truly remarkable victory by an out and out champion equine athlete.
“I am just so proud of the horse,” Hugh Bowman beamed after the race. “I cannot believe it.”
“The electricity that came through my body turning into the home straight just then was something I did not just get to feel, but hopefully for everybody else watching.”
“It is pretty special,” trainer Chris Waller said. “I can not say much more, I am gassed.”
“Lucky the horse has more petrol than me,” he added with a laugh.
The 29th consecutive win and the 22nd at Group One level helped push Winx’s earnings to over $22.9 million – a remarkable return on the $230,000 she cost owners Peter Tighe, Richard Treweeke and Debbie Kepitis at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
A daughter of former champion international Darley sire Street Cry, Winx is from the stakes winning Al Akbar mare Vegas Showgirl.
Vegas Showgirl, who was a multiple stakes winner for Graeme Rogerson, was purchased off the track as a breeding prospect by Colm Santry for Fairway Thoroughbreds at the 2009 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.
Regarded as one of the top types of the sale, Vegas Showgirl was knocked down for $455,000.
It is fitting therefore that the only of Vegas Showgirl’s progeny to be offered through the same sale ring would develop into a world champion.
While the future of Winx’s racing future is yet to be resolved it’s a great time for thoroughbred aficionados to sit back and take in the most remarkable achievement seen on an Australian racecourse.
Race: MVRC WS Cox Plate G1 (2040m)
Breeding: Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl (Al Akbar)
Sold for: $230,000
Sale: 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
Vendor: Coolmore Stud (As Agent)
Buyer: Magic Bloodstock
Owner(s): Magic Bloodstock Racing (Mgr: PG Tighe), RG Treweeke & Mrs DN Kepitis
Trainer: Chris Waller (Flemington)