Winx has understandably won the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon, but perhaps announced that she is better on a wet track after finding the line more than eight lengths in the clear of closest rival Le Romain.
Winx was somewhat slow from the barriers this afternoon, but jockey Hugh Bowman led the champion mare forward and took a position fourth in transit as Leebaz, Le Romain and Hauraki led the way.
Bowman was a passenger as the equine superstar jogged to the lead and put away her rivals with no resistance whatsoever; storming clear in the final 200m to complete her lead-up to the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day 2 of The Championships.
Trainer Chris Waller was emotional after Winx’s dominant George Ryder Stakes win and was quick to lay all the praise on the once-in-a-lifetime superstar.
“She’s always pretty sweet in our eyes,” Waller said.
“There was a lot of pressure to bring her here today and it was good to see her win like that.
“I didn’t expect her to win like that, she’s just an amazing horse.
“Like all horses, we’ll see how she comes through the run. Running them on heavy tracks is a lot harder than good tracks, so we’ve got to be mindful of that.
“She doesn’t owe us anything, but obviously the Queen Elizabeth is where we’re heading.”
Bowman was typically brilliant aboard Winx in the George Ryder Stakes and was thrilled to continue his association with the mare.
“I feel she’s in the prime of her career and it’s just so special to be a part of it,” Bowman said.
“I’ve said before that being a part of her career comes a great level of responsibility, more so than anything else I’ve experienced in my career, but with that comes a great level of confidence as well.
“She’s just an exceptional mare, she’s taken all before her and let’s hope we’ve got plenty of time with her yet.
“I expected maybe a little more tempo early, but she was a bit more switched on this afternoon and when I was heading to the barriers this afternoon I knew she meant business.
“She could have won with plenty in hand, but we’re going to a bigger target next time and the Queen Elizabeth is the signature race of The Championships and so today was an important exercise to push her to the line.
“It’s very, very special.”
In being crowned the 2017 George Ryder Stakes winner, Winx has now posted sixteen-consecutive race wins, including eleven at Group 1 level.
2017 George Ryder Stakes Results
|1||8||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||7||57kg||$1.26F|
|2||2||LE ROMAIN||Kris Lees||Glyn Schofield||7.3L||6||59kg||$10|
|3||1||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||8.6L||1||59kg||$9|
|4||3||HAURAKI||John O’Shea||William Buick||10.5L||2||59kg||$26|
|5||6||MCCREERY (GB)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||12.1L||5||59kg||$31|
|6||9||SYLPHEED||Toby Edmonds||Kanichiro Fujii||13L||4||54kg||$201|
|7||5||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||15.2L||3||59kg||$201|