Sydney’s best trainer Chris Waller enjoyed his third consecutive Epsom Handicap with his impressive mare Winx overcoming a troubled run with her powerful finishing burst getting her the win for the punters in 2015.
Waller took out the major Randwick mile in 2013 with Boban and again last year with He’s Your Man, coming back this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival with the clear favourite in betting for the $1 million Group 1 The Star 150th Epsom (1600m) in Winx.
The four-year-old daughter of Street Cry won the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) in Brisbane back in late May before a returning this campaign for a first-up Rosehill win three weeks ago in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m).
Hugh Bowman took over from James McDonald in the saddle of this year’s Epsom favourite who became the first to salute for the punters since Fat Al (2012) and the first Epsom Handicap winning mare since Secret Admirer (2011).
Bowman had finished second best in a couple of close photo finish Epsom Handicap results, but the gutsy win on Winx was his first victory in the classic.
Things didn’t go exactly to plan throughout the run however with Winx stomped on at the top of the straight.
It was the Team Hawkes-trained Entirely Platinum leading the Epsom field around after going forward early when Winx and Bowman were caught three wide just off the front runners.
John Thompson’s runner Hooked sat with cover third on the outside of Malice through the run with Ecuador tracking second behind the leader.
As they approached the turn for home Bowman started moving closer with Winx before trouble struck and she was nearly knocked over before recovering for her flying run to the line.
On the straight it was Jason Attard’s Theo Marks Stakes runner-up Sons Of John who hit the lead from the Gai Waterhouse-trained Ecuador, Waterhouse chasing her eighth Epsom Handicap trophy.
Once recomposed from the setback round the bend, Winx ($3.10) started to quickly close on the boys up front unleashing her powerful sprint to hit the lead and in a special effort from a special mare beat home Ecuador ($26) on the line with Sons Of John ($21) a brave third in another excellent place.
It was a powerhouse finish from the Epsom Handicap winner Winx who showed her class after picking herself up to win with such authority and stamp herself as a genuine contender in the Melbourne majors this season.
“She’s a superstar in the making,” Bowman said after the win.
“I don’t like to get carried away, but she got stood on at the 450m only to regather, compose herself and she won with authority.
“What can I say? It’s a privilege to ride her and to win my first major Randwick mile, it’s a great thrill.”
Waller was also full of post-win praise for Winx, who has now won eight of her 14 starts, and said he was confident she could be competitive in Victoria naming the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 as a likely target.
“She’s been everywhere and she’s still firing,” he said.
“She’ll be off to Melbourne and there’ll be something nice for her down there.
“It’s easy to talk Cox Plates but we’ll get to that.”
To back Winx next race at the right price and check out futures Cox Plate 2015 odds head to Ladbrokes.com.au today!
2015 Epsom Handicap Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 7 – 03/10/2015
|1||4||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||12||57kg||$3.10F|
|2||8||ECUADOR (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Glen Boss||2.3L||6||56kg||$26|
|3||12||SONS OF JOHN||Jason Attard||Jeff Penza||2.4L||14||56kg||$18|
|4||5||MESSENE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jay Ford||2.5L||7||57kg||$18|
|5||3||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||3.5L||13||57.5kg||$8.50|
|6||14||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||Jason Collett||3.6L||5||56kg||$71|
|7||13||MALICE||John O’Shea||Joao Moreira||3.7L||1||56kg||$41|
|8||2||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Zac Purton||3.8L||4||57.5kg||$9.50|
|9||11||SADLER’S LAKE||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||3.9L||3||56kg||$8|
|10||9||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent||Blake Shinn||4.4L||9||56kg||$10|
|11||1||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Tye Angland||4.5L||2||58kg||$19|
|12||10||SWEYNESSE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||4.9L||10||56kg||$15|
|13||6||RUDY||Helen Page||Luke Tarrant (a)||5.7L||8||56kg||$12|
|14||15||PRESSING||Mick Price||Glyn Schofield||5.9L||11||56kg||$61|
|–||7||SILVERBALL (FR)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||–||0||–||–|