Champion mare Winx equalled Phar Lap’s record of 14 successive wins with a comfortable triumph in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes at Randwick on Monday.
The meeting – delayed by two days due to extreme heat in NSW – was highlighted by Winx’s return from a spell. And the Chris Waller-trained horse didn’t disappoint, cruising through the field to finish two-and-a-half lengths ahead of Hartnell. Endless Drama, who did lots of early work, ran third.
Around 6000 fans were in attendance for the 5.40pm (AEST) race as Winx – rated the best turf horse in the world – recovered from a sluggish start to triumph at odds of $1.10.
Watch the finish below
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“It was a genuinely run 1400m,” winning jockey Hugh Bowman told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“I was concerned about a really slow pace but with a genuine speed, I was able to travel really comfortably throughout … within the blink of an eye, it was all over.
“It’s great to be a part of it. She [Winx] is great for our industry.”
Waller hailed Bowman’s ride, adding: “Hugh does a fantastic job.
“He’s the Mr Cool. He just makes it look easy – it’s not that easy.
“It’s a huge privilege to be part of her [Winx’s] career. We know when Hughie asks her to extend, she’ll quicken.
“We’re certainly enjoying it [winning streak] while it lasts.”
Punters were clearly confident in Winx with the TAB reporting bets of $40,000, $20,000 and $15,000 all at a fixed odds price of $1.15.
She did not jump that well as Shiraz made the early running but Bowman moved Winx up the field nicely, sitting sixth at the 600m mark.
Then, around the home turn, Winx found space and galloped clear, leaving Endless Drama and a fast-finishing Hartnell in her wake.
The race was Winx’s first since her staggering Cox Plate triumph in October last year, where she blitzed the field to win by eight lengths.
Winx’s latest triumph saw her draw level for consecutive wins with Phar Lap, still regarded as the best horse to race in Australia.
The New Zealand-foaled horse, trained and raced Down Under, won an incredible 37 of 51 starts, triumphing in 14 on the trot from September 13, 1930 to March 4, 1931, a run that included the 1930 Melbourne Cup.
Black Caviar famously beat that record in 2011 and went on to win all 25 races of her career.
Other famous winning streaks from horses who predominantly raced in Australia are held by Carbine (15), Bernborough (15), Ajax (18), Gloaming (19), Desert Gold (19), Picnic In The Park (21), Miss Petty (22), although not all achieved them in big city races.
What is next?
Winx’s next task is likely to be tougher with a run in the Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick next Saturday planned.
That race, over 1600m, is at Group 1 level, where eight of Winx’s victories have come.
Also planned for Winx this preparation is the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes over 1500m at Rosehill on March 18.
The horse won’t be leaving New South Wales, with Winx’s main task the Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 2000m at Randwick on April 8. The Group 1 race comes with $4 million in prize money.