The champion is back with Chris Waller’s mighty mare Winx posting her 10th win on the trot in a far too easy victory first-up in Royal Randwick’s Warwick Stakes 2016.
In Black Caviar-like style, the winning streak of the daughter of Street Cry continued to extend when the now five-year-old kicked off her spring in impressive fashion toying with her rivals in Saturday’s $250,000 Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m).
“That’s the heat of the Olympics out of the way, now we’ve just got the semi-finals and the finals to come,” a relieved Waller said after the victory.
Continuing her stellar first-up record, which now sits at five wins from six resuming runs, Winx showed exactly how good she was never moving out of second gear giving her regular jockey Hugh Bowman an armchair ride in the weight-for-age clash.
Rival jockey Tommy Berry aboard Rebel Dane gave Winx something to chase as he was first into stride leading the odds-on favourite who Bowman took straight up into second, closer on pace than in previous runs.
The six-time Group 1 winning mare had a soft ride early while the Kris Lees-trained Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Lucia Valentina settled into second with the John O’Shea-trained Hartnell fourth on the outside.
Bowman kept the punters’ pick Winx parked up in a prominent position behind Gary Portelli’s seven-year-old, giving her a little square up before the turn when she grabbed the bit and made it apparent things were all but over for the rest of the runners.
Around the turn Rebel Dane revved up, but Winx ($1.26) sailed up to the front-runner and smashed out the last 600m in a sensational 32.89 seconds impressing Bowman who said she’d never felt faster underneath him.
“I think I can say she hasn’t been as quick underneath me as she was when I let her go today,” he said.
“Maybe I’m just starting to get used to her.
“What can I say? It was pretty quick.”
It was a walk in the park then for the recently crowned NSW Horse of the Year who drew away on the line to beat home Godolphin’s Authorzied six-year-old Hartnell ($19) and Rebel Dane ($11) holding on for a brave third.
The crowd broke into applause appreciating Winx and welcoming her back to the track for what is shaping up as another faultless spring assault from the reigning Cox Plate champion.
“It’s hard not to get carried away with a mare like this, she really is something special and it’s an honour to be on her back,” Bowman said.
Waller was full of post-race praise not only for his stable star but also the Randwick track team and said he was happy to have chosen Sydney for Winx’s return.
“It was questionable whether the track would stand up for the spring but they’ve done a fantastic job,” he said.
“I’m pleased we chose Sydney to resume and she’s got a few more runs to come in Sydney before we move onto Melbourne.”
She was already at a short $2.70 in all-in betting to successfully defend her title in the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 and is now set to firm even further in futures markets for Australasia’s weight-for-age championship.
To back Winx throughout the spring at the best prices head to Ladbrokes.com.au today!
2016 Warwick Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 7 – 20/08/2016
|1||6||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||4||57kg||$1.24F|
|2||2||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||3.5L||3||59kg||$21|
|3||4||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Tommy Berry||4.3L||2||59kg||$11|
|4||7||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||4.4L||1||57kg||$11|
|5||5||VANBRUGH||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||8.9L||6||58.5kg||$31|
|6||1||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||10.1L||7||59kg||$81|
|7||3||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||11.1L||5||59kg||$201|