Star mare Winx had no problems getting through the wet Royal Randwick track and cruised to yet another victory in the 2017 Chipping Norton Stakes this afternoon.
There was plenty of speculation before the Chipping Norton Stakes that Winx would be scratched from the race due to the heavy track and connections were clearly concerned, but the mighty mare showed that there was nothing whatsoever to be worried about.
Hugh Bowman settled Winx just behind the leading group in the early stages of the race and she cruised to the lead at the top of the straight before bolting away from her rivals without even being asked for an effort.
Bowman revealed after the race that he was never particularly concerned about the wet conditions in the Chipping Norton Stakes and he said that he was always confident the daughter of Street Cry would get the job done.
“Nothing really changed,” Bowman said.
“The conditions are fair, it is when you start to get bias that I really start to worry and that is what we had at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day.
“It is wet, but everybody is getting their chance and it is just a case of whether your horse can cop with the surface today or not.
“This mare can.
“She would be more comfortable if the surface wasn’t as wet as it is and in the final stages and I had the race won I stopped pushing and she really idled down.
“That is not really in her make-up and it is really rare for her to do that.
“She got the job done, but she is most effective on good ground.”
Chris Waller was critical of the Royal Randwick track following the victory of McCreery in the Liverpool City Cup, but he backtracked following the win of Winx and he said that he was happy with the surface ahead of the Chipping Norton Stakes.
“It was good to have confidence in the track,” Waller said.
“When I went and walked it to me it looked pretty good.
“I knew the track was safe and that was the most important thing.
“There is a bit of expectation with this horse too and I didn’t want to see tomorrow’s papers if she didn’t run.”
Winx will have her next race start in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 18 before she contests the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 8.
The wet track was expected to favour Hartnell, but he was one of the first horses beaten and it was Crown Oaks winner Lasqueti Spirit that toughed it out to finish second, while Who Shot Thebarman flashed home late for third.