The Winx story just keeps on getting better as the mighty mare claimed her 23th straight win and a record-breaking 16th Group 1 victory in the 2018 Chipping Norton Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
There was no repeat of her first-up scare in the Warwick Stakes during the Spring – she jumped with the rest of the field and jockey Hugh Bowman was happy to let her settle at the tail of the field.
Bowman didn’t touch her, but Winx was still able to tow herself into the lead at the top of the straight and when Bowman asked her for a slight effort she quickly raced away from her rivals to record a dominant win.
Trainer Chris Waller was typically emotional following the win of Winx in the Chipping Norton Stakes and he was clearly relieved to see his star mare make a winning return to the races.
“It is always a concern to see how a horse has come back,” Waller said.
“To see her come back like this is very special.
“It is a great story.
“The next week is easy, after that it gets a bit harder and the last week is harder again.
“Her attitude is fantastic and she is better now than she was when she was a four-year-old, but not much has changed in the last 12 months.
“She knows her job, she enjoys her job and she enjoys going home to be another horse.”
Bowman had the best seat in the house in the Chipping Norton Stakes and he was clearly delighted to be back on Winx following the drama surrounding his suspension ahead of the Apollo Stakes.
The leading hoop said that Winx felt like a very happy horse and believes that she might actually be in a better mental state than she was during the 2017 Spring Racing Carnival.
“She has been filling me with confidence all preparation,” Bowman said.
“She is always the most vulnerable over these shorter distances as we have seen when she has run first-up over the 1400 in previous preparations.
“It is the only time that she is left flat-footed and we are left scratching our head whether she still has it.
“It was a generally run race and I had a lovely run close to the rear of the field.
“She just travelled so kindly and behaved in the barriers.
“That suggests to me that she is a very happy horse.
“She might have finally matured.”
The George Ryder Stakes will be the next race start for Winx and she will start that race as a dominant favourite, while she is $1.25 with Ladbrokes to win the 2018 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.