Winx has justified her resounding favouritism to post her most dominant win to date in the 2016 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley this afternoon.
Winx heralded the greatest market share of bets for success in the Cox Plate and did her chances of successfully defending her 2015 crown no harm when jumping well and taking an ideal position within the field of eleven, as Black Heart Bart, Hartnell and Awesome Rock led the field past the post the first time.
The Street Cry mare switched off and enjoyed an ideal run in transit over the back straight as Vadamos upped the tempo and opened a gap of three lengths on his rivals approaching the final bend.
Leading Godolphin hoop James McDonald pulled Hartnell into the race as the field rounded onto the final straight, but Winx and Bowman immediately responded to the move and jogged to the fore of the field, leading the pack in a similar into the home stretch in a similar fashion to 2015.
Bowman was nothing more than another spectator to Winx’s brilliance in the final 200m as the mare gapped her rivals by more than eight lengths to etch her name firmly into world racing folklore.
“Honestly, she’s just given us all such an amazing ride,” Bowman said after winning the Cox Plate.
“I’m a sports fanatic and I’ve grown up watching campaigns in all sports. When Lleyton Hewitt when he won Wimbledon. Watching Makybe Diva when she was racing but to ride a horse like this and come out onto the track prior to a race like this and be cheered on, I was really moved by that.
“I’ve had a bit of an in-and-out afternoon and couple of weeks, but to be able to produce a ride that this mare is worthy of today gives me so much pride.
“It’s not me, it’s the whole team at Chris Waller’s stable, he’s managed the mare so well.
“I’m rattling on but I just can’t believe it, it’s just such an amazing experience.”
An understandably emotional Chris Waller has always had a high opinion of Winx, but said that he is always in awe of the feats produced by the nine-time Group 1 winner.
“Quite unbelievable,” Waller said.
“Obviously once she started racing she was pretty special, but who would have thought about this?
“You’re looking for Hartnell to kick, you’re looking for our run to end, you’re looking for others from the rest of the pack, because it’s the best from around the world really.
“You never expect to win like that, you’re always expecting the unexpected.”
Hartnell maintained well to the line to finish second in the Cox Plate, while three-year-old Yankee Rose produced arguably a career-best effort to date to finish a gallant third.
Winx is undefeated since she stormed home to win the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas during the 2015 edition of the Winter Carnival; a run of form that has now produced thirteen-consecutive race wins.