Cox Plate winner Winx made it six wins on the trot to claim the Group 2 $250,000 Optus Business Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick today.
Winx was having her first run back from a spell after winning the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
With a solid pace set by front runner Solicit ($5.50), Hugh Bowman was happy to sit back in fifth spot on the fence on the Chris Waller trained Winx who was sent out the short priced favourite at $1.60.
Kerrin McEvoy made sure there was a solid pace on front the outset and controlled the race from the front but couldn’t hold the trademark finishing burst of Winx.
Bowman was happy to wait as long as he could in the straight and when Solicit rolled off the fence, he took advantage of the inside run let Winx stroll through untouched to record a one length win.
The Gerald Ryan trained Solicit hung on for second with $41 outsider Hauraki hitting the line hard to fill third spot.
Waller admitted after the race that he was feeling some nerves heading into the Apollo Stakes with the new glamour mare of the turf and will now step her back up to Group 1 company in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in a fortnight.
“Today is one of the most nervous I have been in recent years,” Waller said.
“The early days were pretty nervous when I was getting here for my first time and things like that.”
“But there is a sense of importance about this horse that is almost on the cusp of a super star. I feel it is important for racing to keep them winning.”
The Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 9, the second day of ‘The Championships’, will be the main Autumn Carnival goal for Winx and Waller would love to win some more with the super start along the way.
“Especially with an elite horse like this, every race is important now,” Waller said.
“The Queen Elizabeth is the bonus because of the big prizemoney there. Every race will be taken very seriously, as they always are.”
“I would say it will be a Group 1 next start for her that she will be running in and hopefully she will get that as well.”
Bowman was very pleased with the winning effort and is expecting her to continue her winning form during the Autumn Carnival.
“She put the writing on the wall in the Spring and that’s a good return and hopfully she can continue on this path,” Bowman said.
Apollo Stakes Results
|1||8||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||1||57kg||$1.60F|
|2||10||SOLICIT||Gerald Ryan||Kerrin McEvoy||1L||4||57kg||$5.50|
|3||5||HAURAKI||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||3.8L||2||59kg||$41|
|4||4||DIBAYANI (IRE)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Tye Angland||3.9L||11||59kg||$19|
|5||6||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||4.1L||8||59kg||$13|
|6||11||BOHEMIAN LILY (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||5L||9||57kg||$31|
|7||2||MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||6.8L||5||59kg||$17|
|8||7||CENTRE PIVOT||Peter Robl||Ms Winona Costin (a)||7.1L||3||59kg||$21|
|9||1||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Christian Reith||8.1L||7||59kg||$81|
|10||9||GUST OF WIND (NZ)||John Sargent||Brenton Avdulla||12L||10||57kg||$81|
|11||3||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||13.4L||6||59kg||$151|