Winx’s regular race day partner Hugh Bowman is focused on sending the champion mare out a winner when she lines up for her final time under race conditions in the 2019 Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day Two of The Championships at Randwick on Saturday.
Bowman has been a major part of Winx’s incredible journey, missing only two of her thirty-two consecutive wins over the last four years.
A third win in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes will take Winx’s unbeaten record to thirty-three as well as collecting her twenty-fifth Group 1 win.
Bowman missed out on Winx’s first win of her unbelievable winning streak when Brisbane based jockey Larry Cassidy brought the Chris Waller trained filly from last on the home turn to win the Group 3 $125,000 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast at the beginning of the 2015 Queensland Winter Carnival.
But Bowman is very focused on making sure that Winx won’t disappoint her worldwide legion of fans and is striving to kept a clear head going into Saturday’s finale.
“My focus is on getting the job done. I want to get there, do what I’ve got to do and try to enjoy it, enjoy the moment,” Bowman wrote in his column on Racenet.
“We’re going in as confident as ever but with the respect of the opposition that they deserve.”
“As much as the expectation is that Winx will go and do what she’s been doing for as long as we can all remember, for me and Chris, we have to deliver her the way we have and hope that things go the way they have and she performs because ultimately until the barriers open we just don’t know.”
“She gives me confidence and I feel it through how relaxed she is.”
“The attention that is drawn towards her, she just ignores it and that helps me to put it to one side.”
“Once we get onto the track and canter off, I relax as well.”
Winx is facing eight opponents in the weight for age Queen Elizabeth Stakes and will jump from the outside gate when the starter presses the button and Bowman said that if he has to push the mighty mare to her limit he will, but he won’t have her at full throttle he doesn’t need to.
“On Thursday I was asked if I’m going to really push her on Saturday because it’s her last start?” Bowman said.
“I think we know how good she is and I’m not going idle her down.”
“I’m there to let her go through her gears and I’m not going to ask her to do anything she doesn’t need to do. I’m sure she’ll perform at the level we’ve become accustomed to seeing her perform at.”
“As long as we win, I don’t care how far we win by.”
Winx put a scare through the Waller camp at Thursday morning’s media conference at Rosehill following her final gallop when she became quite agitated and kicked out behind and made contact with the enclosure fence.
Waller was quick to make contact with the stable farrier who reported that Winx has sustained no damage to her back hoof.
“The farrier’s already called and said she’s 100 percent but as you could see she’s ready to go, which is good for people to see, to show how much energy and how much life she’s got to offer,” Waller said.
“I can’t explain how well she is. As Hughie said during the week, she’s never been better.”
“As you can see she’s a horse, they’re unpredictable but she’s very well, very fresh, very bright and ready to go.”
“Obviously it’s a big morning with a lot of cameras, people everywhere. They can get a bit fresh from time to time and she’s certainly ready to explode.
“I shouldn’t have taken the ear muffs off this morning. I just wanted to take them off so you could all see her without the ear phones on but as soon as I did she could hear the clicking and the clacking (of the cameras) so I probably shouldn’t have done that.
“It was, it was (a heart flutter). She had the rug on and it was grabbing her on the bum and I don’t think she liked that too much.”
Winx was also examined by Racing NSW Official Veterinarian Dr James Mizzi and stable veterinarian Dr Ross Alexander who have reported that Winx was free in her action and no abnormalities were detected.
“As a result the mare has been passed fit to start in Saturday’s Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes,” The Racing New South Wales statement said.
Winx once again dominates the betting for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au quoting her at $1.06 with her nearest rivals in the market being the Pat Webster trained Happy Clapper and English visitor He’s Eminent at $21.