The Cox Plate is now in the sights of champion mare Winx, who extended her unbeaten record to eleven with another comfortable win in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
The George Main Stakes field was cut to only six after scratchings, and jockey Hugh Bowman elected to take a position at the rear of the small group from the outset as Great Esteem and It’s Somewhat set the pace.
In typical fashion, Bowman peeled the Street Cry mare off the fence rounding onto the final straight and allowed her to put herself into the race at her own pace, and she subsequently beat a brave Hauraki to the line by close to two lengths.
Sydney’s leading jockey, Bowman is only a passenger to Winx’s brilliance and the hoop believes she is now in peak condition ahead of her trip to Melbourne.
“I’m just enjoying the ride – it’s a very special ride for us all,” Bowman said.
“She’s going to meet better horses now, so she’s ticked this box but we’re under no illusions. She’s beaten inferior opposition today but there’s going to be nowhere to hide when we get to Melbourne.
“She’s come through it well today, she’s had a good blow and she’s felt the run. Just looking forward to Melbourne now.”
Chris Waller was on hand for Winx’s seventh Group 1 triumph this afternoon, and confirmed that the Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) (Caulfield Stakes) on Caulfield Guineas Day will figure as her next point of call.
“It’s just a big team that evolved and we all feel it come race day,”
“We all appreciate it at the same time, but there’s nothing like that winning feeling. It lets everything settle down for another couple of weeks and the dream continues.
“Its taught me a lot about how to treat racing. Its been a good learning curve and hopefully we still will be learning in a few weeks and a few runs’ time. Maybe another couple of years, who knows. She’s a fantastic horse.
“Hugh said before the race that he just wanted to let her relax, that’s where she likes to be and she’ll decide what she wants to do as soon as she jumps.
“Today’s win wasn’t a gap job but it wasn’t intended to be either. She’s had four weeks between runs so we just need to know where she is and we just need to win heading to future targets.
“It (Ladbrokes Stakes) looks to fit in nicely, gives her a run over 2000m on the left leg.
“Caulfield probably isn’t perfect for a Sydney horse first time, but she’s just got that ability to switch herself around and finish off from wherever she is.”
2016 George Main Stakes Results
|1||8||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||5||57kg||$1.09F|
|2||2||HAURAKI||John O’Shea||James McDonald||1.3L||4||59kg||$14|
|3||3||IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA)||John O’Shea||Tim Clark||4.6L||3||59kg||$31|
|4||7||VANBRUGH||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||4.8L||2||58.5kg||$101|
|5||4||SPIRITJIM (FR)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||5.7L||6||59kg||$101|
|6||5||GREAT ESTEEM||Stuart Webb||Kerrin McEvoy||6.5L||1||59kg||$51|