Champion mare Winx has set a world record for Group One flat wins and posted a staggering 24th-straight victory after taking out the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill.
The result sees the Chris Waller-trained Winx move past the mark of 16 set by American horse John Henry in 1984.
Hugh Bowman coolly rode Winx to its 17th Group One triumph, sitting back early before launching her charge with 300 metres remaining.
Invincible Gem had led to the turn, with Happy Clapper a couple of lengths behind. As Winx moved forward, she still had Invincible Gem, Happy Clapper and Kementari in front of her.
But when Bowman said go, the mighty mare surged forward and by the 150m mark had hit the front.
In the end, Winx claimed a clear victory over Happy Clapper, with Kementari finishing third — to give the Chris Waller-trained galloper a third win in the George Ryder.
Bowman happy with solid win
Although her winning margin was nothing like the seven lengths in the Chipping Norton Stakes, her ever-calm jockey Hugh Bowman said she did what she needed to do.
“It was a bit of a tactical race,” he said.
“They are high-class horses and I’ve never treated her opposition with disrespect – I’ve always treated them with the respect they deserve.
“Happy Clapper is a supreme athlete and this mare is just better than them. I have so much confidence in her.
“She gave me such a thrilling feeling, as she did everyone watching here today.
“I could feel the crowd erupt as we went to the front at the 200 metres.
“What a special, special horse she is and I’m just so grateful to be her jockey.
Each horse is an individual, but this horse has captivated the attention of the world.”
Waller’s sigh of relief
Any thoughts it gets easier the longer Winx keeps winning were dispelled by her trainer Chris Waller, whose main emotion was relief.
Not so much for the thought she might get beaten, more that she returns safely and does her best.
“I can’t explain it. There has been a bit of pressure leading up to today,” Waller said.
“She makes my job a lot easier because she does what she does.
“I was a little bit concerned when I knew Happy Clapper won so well first up and he’s a horse we have so much respect for, and Kementari – not just winning the Randwick Guineas, but winning the two lead-ups as well.
“They are two quality horses and it was good for her today. It made her lift.”
Winx was sent out the $1.16 favourite to win the race, with Kementari at $8.50 and Happy Clapper at $21.
The win puts Winx one victory behind Black Caviar, who won 25 straight races — including 15 Group Ones.