The world’s biggest bookmaker Bill Waterhouse rates the world’s number one race horse Winx as better than the legendary Phar Lap on the eve of the running of the 2019 Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Winx is chasing her fourth straight Chipping Norton Stakes win as well as her thirty-first consecutive victory and her twenty-third Group 1 trophy and the 97 year old Waterhouse, who saw Phar Lap race as a child, has been converted to the modern day wonder mare.
The Daily Telegraph’s Ray Thomas said that he spoke to Waterhouse, who ruled the Sydney betting ring from the 1950s until the 1980s and then again in the early 2000s and was regarded through his career as the world’s biggest bookmaker.
Waterhouse had always regarded Phar Lap as the best ever but has been swayed by the efforts of the Chris Waller trainer Winx who has become the people’s champion.
“I have to acknowledge, Winx is, I think, superior to Phar Lap,’’ Waterhouse told The Daily Telegraph.
“I think she the best racehorse I ever seen in my 97 years.
“Modern horses are better reared, better fed and, maybe, better trained today. Why wouldn’t they be better?”
“With 30 straight wins, Winx has screamed her domination of her generation.
“As a boy, I saw Phar Lap race at Randwick, winning three times over the seven days of the AJC Carnival.’’
“He created a huge impression on me. I ‘knew’ he was the greatest horse to ever race. Young eyes allow a champion to make an enormous impact.
“Then and thereafter, everyone recognised Phar Lap as an absolute ‘wonder horse’.
“I remember Dad’s (C.O.H. Waterhouse, a St Leger bookmaker) oft-repeated, sage advice to me, prompted by Phar Lap: ‘Never bet against a champion’.’’
Waterhouse can recall Phar Lap winning the 1930 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley before going on to win on each day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington, including Australia’s greatest race, The Melbourne Cup.
In contrast, Waller has kept Winx’s preparations to four runs in one campaign, sometimes three, which has led her to being nicked name the ‘cotton wool champion’.
“By contrast I fear Winx will, in time to come, be wrongly tainted with the tag a ‘cotton wool’ champion. But you can’t blame the Winx connections. Times are different,’’ Waterhouse said.
Regular partner Hugh Bowman will again be aboard Winx who has drawn barrier four in the seven horse field and is marked at $1.09 at Ladbrokes.com.au to win her fourth straight Chipping Norton Stakes.
The Pat Webster trained Happy Clapper (Blake Shinn, barrier 3) is the closest to Winx in the betting at $7 while the rest for the field is made up of Winx’s stablemates, Patrick Erin (Corey Brown, barrier 2), Libran (Glyn Schofield, 6), Brimham Rocks (Tommy Berry, 7), Egg Tart (Brenton Avdulla, 5) and Unforgotten (Kerrin McEvoy, 1).