Winx Leads a Big Weekend of Racing
by J A McGrath at Godolphin
International racing is dominated this weekend by the Australian colossus Winx, who is confidently expected to register her 19th consecutive win when she lines up for the G1 Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick in Sydney.
Last time, in a 1,400m G2 race, Winx fluffed her lines at the start, missing the break by four lengths. She then had to do it the hard way, circling the entire field before nailing victory right on the line with a last gasp surge of power.
The move up in trip this time, to 1,600m (one mile), makes it much easier for the amazing mare, especially as she is facing a maximum of 11 rivals, all of whom are rated many lengths behind her on official figures.
The zone from one mile (1,600m) to a mile and a quarter (2,000m) offers supreme comfort for Winx, and the daughter of ill-fated Street Cry, a former Darley stallion, can go about her business without any major worries.
Her regular jockey Hugh Bowman has publicly expressed concern about Winx’s occasional tardiness at the start, but, equally, his experience in knowing her so well, means he never panics if there are many lengths to make on the leaders.
In fact, his cool head left the great mare unflustered and allowed her to gather herself and then produce such a power-packed finish.
Crowds will gather, at Randwick in the stands, and around TVs, iPads and mobile phones worldwide, setting a pattern for the months ahead in Sydney, Melbourne and the global racing village.
Winx is a champion, who is steadily working towards gaining official recognition as the best racehorse in the world. The Chelmsford is another stepping stone, while the Cox Plate on October 28 could be the crowning achievement.
Once again, there are a variety of big international races this weekend, all worthy of recognition and comment. One in particular, the G1 Grosser Preis Von Baden, brings together two very smart German horses, old rivals Guignol and Iquitos, plus the Godolphin duo Best Solution and Prize Money.
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Best Solution finished an encouraging second to Iquitos in the G1 Dallmayer-Preis, over 2,000m on July 30, with stablemate Prize Money sixth in the same race. A field of seven will line up for this historic German race.