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Winx has saluted in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate 2017 results, her third success in the Australasian weight-for-age classic at Moonee Valley after holding off the fast-finishing Humidor in a nail-biter that produced another race record winning time.
Chris Waller’s superlative mare joined Kingston Town (1980-82), co-holding the record of three Cox Plate wins with another impressive effort in the ‘Race Where Champions Are Made’, but she and jockey Hugh Bowman were made to work for it.
“I can’t explain it,” Bowman said.
“I’m lost for words. She’s just made history.
“I was born the year Kingston Town won his first Cox Plate and to think she’s emulated the great.
“We are in the presence of greatness. She will be recognised as one of the great horses to grace the Australian turf.
“To be part of her career, I can’t explain what that means.”
Everyone predicted a third Winx Cox Plate win, but she looked in trouble 50m out from the line as the spirited Darren Weir-trained Humidor moved-up trying to end the fairy tale.
Brave backing-up off a fifth in last Saturday’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), Humidor eventually settled for second to Winx in his second round with the champion after a third to her in Flemington’s Turnbull Stakes.
Rounding out the Cox Plate trifecta in third was the Charlie Appleby-trained Godolphin raider from the UK Folkswood, running a nice race off the back of a Listed Cranbourne Cup victory first-up down under.
Drawing level with former superstar sprinter Black Caviar with 15 Group 1 wins, the six-year-old daughter of Street Cry defeated all seven rivals in this season’s Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) in 2:02.94, surpassing her own record set in the 2015 Cox Plate, much to Waller’s relief.
“It was close, as you’d expect in a Cox Plate,” the master trainer said.
“Jeez, Humidor gave us one hell of a fight.
“I’ve been prepared for it [to lose] for a while, you don’t expect with any horse to win 22 in a row.
“You’ve always got to respect what happens on race day.
“But I’m pleased she’s done it for the crowd, and most importantly the horse.
“It’s pretty breathtaking. I’m blessed to be in this position, as simple as that.”
Bowman knew Humidor was coming for him at the end, but also knew he was on the country’s best horse and that she wouldn’t disappoint.
“He got to my flank,” Bowman said.
“But I was on the best horse.
“This horse just overcomes everything. He had to come and get past her and no horse has in her past 22 starts.
“I could sense her run was peaking…when I looked I could see how close he [Humidor] was.
“She could feel him too and she extended once again as she always does.
“She’s an amazing athlete.
“I’ll look upon this race for the rest of my life with a great deal of pride.”
Now a winner of $15,577,925 in stakes, Winx is officially the highest-earning Australian racehorse of all time surpassing triple Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva with today’s Cox Plate success, more than returning her $230,000 purchase price as a yearling.
In 2015 Winx set a Cox Plate race record, in 2016 she won by a record eight lengths and in 2017 she was impressive in a different way beating home her own track record time.
Undefeated at Moonee Valley Racecourse where the tight turns suit the flawless mare’s effortless racing style, Winx has won 26 of her 32 career starts overall continuing the dream run for connections including Magic Bloodstock behind the blue-and-white ‘M’ silks.
Winx was cleanly away from the gates, settling four and five deep out of trouble as the Weir-trained Ladbrokes Stakes winner Gailo Chop led the Cox Plate field around.
Folkswood with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle also bolted up into second on his outside, while Hardham was travelling third on the outside of Seaburge.
Winx remained back in the field on the outside of Humidor ridden by the in-form Blake Shinn who had won four earlier Cox Plate Day races.
Towards the turn, Bowman peeled out on Winx and with 600m to go the dual defending champion was sliding up to her competition.
Winx moved up to Gailo Chop, with Folkswood between the two, and Bowman still hadn’t hit the button 350m out.
Hitting the front at the 200m, Winx looked for a moment like she would race off for a win emulating that of her eight length romp home last year.
Humidor though kept the mare honest, chasing Winx home in a heart-stopper and forcing the heroic winner to show her true grit and guts all the way to the finishing post.
See below for the official Cox Plate 2017 results and finishing order, before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au to back Winx next race – wherever the mighty mare heads!
2017 Cox Plate Results
Moonee Valley Race 9 – 28/10/2017
|1||8||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||5||57kg||$1.18F|
|2||3||HUMIDOR (NZ)||Darren Weir||Blake Shinn||0.4L||7||59kg||$31|
|3||5||FOLKSWOOD (GB)||Charlie Appleby||Kerrin McEvoy||4.65L||4||59kg||$26|
|4||9||ROYAL SYMPHONY||Tony McEvoy||Dean Yendall||6.15L||6||49.5kg||$19|
|5||2||GAILO CHOP (FR)||Darren Weir||Mark Zahra||6.25L||3||59kg||$21|
|6||1||HAPPY CLAPPER||Patrick Webster||Damien Oliver||6.55L||8||59kg||$31|
|7||6||SEABURGE||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss||13.55L||1||57.5kg||$101|
|8||7||HARDHAM||David Brideoake||Luke Nolen||14.8L||2||57.5kg||$101|
|–||4||KASPERSKY (IRE)||Jane Chapple-Hyam||Ms Michelle Payne||–||0||–||–|
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