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Star mare Winx overcame a horror start to record a truly stunning victory in the 2017 Warwick Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Winx showed a dazzling turn-of-foot to record a remarkable Warwick Stakes win. Photo by: Steve Hart

Winx showed a dazzling turn-of-foot to record a remarkable Warwick Stakes win. Photo by: Steve Hart

Winx missed the start by four lengths and jockey Hugh Bowman was forced to settle her at the tail of the field on a track that had favoured leaders throughout the day.

Foxplay and Ecuador looked as though they were going to fight out the finish at the 300 metre mark, but jockey Hugh Bowman timed his run to perfection on Winx and she absolutely savaged the line in the last 100 metres to extend her truly remarkable winning streak.

Trainer Chris Waller would have won the Warwick Stakes even if Winx had been unable to rundown Foxplay in the final stages, but there was no doubt that the star trainer was incredibly relived that Winx had gotten the job done.

Waller was quick to pay credit to the ride of Bowman and he was of the belief that Winx would not have won the race if it was not for the coolness of the leading hoop in an incredibly high-pressure situation.

“It is out of my hands when you put Hugh Bowman aboard and that is a big part of her success,” Bowman said.

“Hugh never panicked and when you put the reigns in his hands you know that you have the right man aboard.

“He realised that he has to make up a bit of ground and he used the full amount of the straight to do it, instead of panicking at the 300 metre mark.

“That is Hugh Bowman.”

While Bowman was able to maintain his composure during the ride, he did admit after the race that he was very nervous at the 700 metre mark.

Bowman said that he did not want to make his run too far from home and he was happy to rely on the equine superstar to get herself home in the final stages of the Warwick Stakes.

“I was a bit worried going past the 700 because of the way that the track conditions are,” Bowman said.

“They are running really slick times and I was thinking that it could be mathematically impossible to catch them.

“There was nothing that I could do about that and I just had to rely on the engine that I know is in her.

“I couldn’t take off at the 1100 because I would have run out of gas and I had to have confidence in her to run her race.

“I want to win as much as anybody else, but after what happened coming out of the barriers I had to renegotiate where I was and I was concerned.

“It was a good feeling in the last 200.”

Winx is set to have her next race start in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) in a fortnight as she continues to build towards the Ladbrokes Cox Plate.

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.


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