World champion mare Winx continued to do what she does best and produced another classy performance to win her fourth straight Group 1 $1m The Agency George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill today.
The George Ryder Stakes win takes Winx’s Group 1 tally to twenty-four and her consecutive winning record to thirty-two.
Hugh Bowman let Winx settle in the second half of the field in the early stages to let her find her rhythm on the heavy Rosehill track and was happy to sit out three wide out of trouble.
The champion jockey started to let Winx move forward at the 600m and the glamour mare was challenging the leading bunch four wide on the home turn.
As usual Bowman sat as quiet as a mouse until well into the straight before letting Winx find her extra gears and once she hit her top, she cruised away to record a memorable three and a half lengths victory as the very short priced $1.05 favourite.
“When I asked her to stretch she responded and you could hear the crowd roar. The excitement and the emotion, she responds to that as well as anything else, and once again I am just so proud of her and proud to be a part of it,” Bowman said.
The Team Hawkes trained Brutal ($26) ran a brave second while Dreamforce ($31) was a further three lengths away in third position.
Today’s George Ryder Stakes win was Winx’s last race day appearance at Rosehill before heading to Randwick in three weeks time for her swansong in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day Two of The Championships.
Trainer Chris Waller said he had no concerns watching the race even though Winx had to cover plenty of extra ground approaching the home turn.
“I guess it was a different sort of run race. A little bit of pressure early, they backed off, Hughie popped out four wide with a bit of arrogance as we’ve seen him do and as he’s entitled to do. Obviously everyone expects her to win and that’s one of the reasons she does,” Waller said.
“Every other jockey I’m telling not to be three wide but with her we have to be three wide to stay out of trouble. It’s the longest way home and it was a good fight but the last 200m she just powered away.”
“She’s a very special horse. I’m sure she’s know what’s going on. Just a marvellous horse to work with and we owe it to her to be in this position.”
Bowman said that Winx had no problem with the heavy ground under foot and he could feel the mighty mare respond to the cheers of the crowd half way down the straight.