Sport Racing Has there ever been such a horse? Winx notches her 30th straight win

Has there ever been such a horse? Winx notches her 30th straight win

Hugh Bowman returns to scale after riding Winx to victory. Photo: AAP/Simon Bullard
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Any thoughts Winx might not be as good as she once was have been scotched in just under 81 seconds with the great mare notching her 30th consecutive win in the Apollo Stakes at Randwick.

In her first run since a history-making fourth Cox Plate triumph, Winx drew clear from the 200-metre mark to beat Happy Clapper and stablemate Egg Tart.

Winx, with Hugh Bowman again on board, started overwhelming favourite to extend her winning streak in the Group Two race over 1,400m.

And that is how it panned out, with Bowman easing the mare up to Happy Clapper before strolling to a comfortable win by two-and-a-quarter lengths.

Winx posted a time of 1:20.88 seconds in winning her third Apollo Stakes, slicing 0.55 off Trapeze Artist’s track record.

“The pace of the race was very even which suited us,” Bowman said.

“I had to niggle her to hold her position closer than I normally would over a bit further, especially when I could see the path that Sam was plotting on Happy Clapper out of pure respect for that horse’s ability.

“We needed to be within striking distance. But as the race unfolded, we settled into a lovely rhythm as we always do.

“It was a pretty comfortable race for me and it was pretty comfortable for Winx too.

“She was in pure control.”

For Winx’s trainer, Chris Waller, the overriding emotion after the race was relief.

On Saturday there was also a heap of pride and wonder at what she can do for racing which has been beset by headlines in past weeks regarding leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir and his disqualification.

“What she does for racing makes me proud,” Waller said.

“It’s a great sport and she’s a true headline act and puts racing in a positive light.”

Waller said the victory was vindication for the decision made to continue Winx’s career following her record fourth Cox Plate win.

“Relief is what I’m feeling,” Waller said.

“We take it so personally. She can’t tell us when she’s had enough. We made the decision to push on a bit further.”