In her second-last race before a much anticipated retirement, the champion bay mare Winx has won a record fourth George Ryder Stakes and her last race at her home track at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day.
In front of a huge crowd on Saturday at 3.05pm, Winx secured her 32nd successive victory and her 24th at Group One level before a planned farewell in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in Sydney on April 13.
With jockey Hugh Bowman riding her to victory in front of owners, connections and admirers, Winx won by three lengths on a wet track for the fourth time in the $1 million George Ryder after victories in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
An emotional Bowman rode her the length of the main grandstand and returned in a victory lap back to the mounting yard, throwing his goggles into the flag-waving crowd.
In humid conditions, Bowman said Winx kept her focus, saying he could “feel the energy increase in her body and she surged to the line”.
“It excites me and I feel very privileged. What comes with it is a lot of emotion,” he said.
I”ve never seen a day like this at Rosehill ever,” trainer Chris Waller told Sky Racing.
— TAB (@tabcomau) March 23, 2019
Bowman won the race five times and three of those wins were on Winx in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Winx has become the first horse to win three different Group One races on four occasions – The Cox Plate, The Chipping Norton and the George Ryder.
Part owner Peter Tighe said he expected her to finish her career on a high next month.
“As long as she pulls up well, and there’s no reason to think she won’t, she’ll get all the usual checks – then we’ll be back in three weeks to finish her career on a high note,” he said.
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) March 23, 2019