The weekend’s feature race favourite Big Duke...
Winx’s final run at Rosehill ended just how it was supposed to on Saturday: with a fourth consecutive win in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
Chris Waller’s mighty mare farewelled her home track by cruising to an all-too-easy three-length victory over second place-getter Brutal in what was perhaps her easiest run this prep.
Winx hardly broke a sweat on a humid and cloudy day in Sydney. Champion jockey Hugh Bowman found himself in an all too familiar three-wide position rounding the bend, only this time he coaxed Winx home with hands as she had the race already won at the 100m mark.
“She needed a good hard run and I feel she’s gone against stronger opposition here at Rosehill over the years and I wanted to make sure that she kept her focus and that’s exactly what she did” Bowman said following the win.
“The crowd erupted, and I could feel the energy just increase in her body and she surged to the line, it was just so exciting.”
Winx will now head to Randwick on April 13 aiming to win her third consecutive Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m). Whether or not the run will mark the end of the mighty mare’s career remains to be seen, but for now, Waller just wants to enjoy the victory.
“Every other jockey I’m telling not to be three wide but with her we have to be three wide to stay out of trouble. It’s the longest way home and it was a good fight but the last 200m she just powered away” Waller said.
Waller was also asked on the possibility of taking Winx to Royal Ascot following The Queen’s request. For now, the only Queen he wants to focus on is the race in three week’s time.
“I know The Queen is fully aware of Winx and we’re very proud of that. We’ve had messages from time to time. She’s brought the world closer to Australian racing. We haven’t been there but we don’t need to be worrying about that. We can just enjoy this for a racing moment that will be remembered for a long time here.”
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