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Unstoppable mare Winx further proved her champion status with an effortless 2017 Chipping Norton Stakes win in the wet at Royal Randwick on Saturday for her fifteenth consecutive turf triumph.
Joining the greats Carbine and Bernborough, Chris Waller’s daughter of Street Cry successfully defended her title in the $600,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) to make it ten Group 1 wins to date.
She completed the Apollo Stakes – Chipping Norton Stakes double for the second year on the trot and will next race on Golden Slipper Stakes Day at Rosehill, March 18, looking to continue the trend with another win in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
There were pre-race talks on Chipping Norton Stakes Day that the glamour mare would be scratched from the race with rain around and concerns about how she would handle the Heavy going.
Waller though made the late call to run, and run Winx did.
“There’s a bit of expectation with this horse,” Waller admitted.
“Pretty amazing. So many people are out there now enjoying her story.”
She and regular rider Hugh Bowman settled well back in the field as the Crown Oaks winning filly Lasqueti Spirit led the field around second-up off the Apollo Stakes 10th.
Lasqueti Spirit was up front setting the pace ahead of Waller’s import Endless Drama and Magic Hurricane, while the John O’Shea-trained Hartnell was racing three-deep in fourth.
Winx was back to fourth last, but Bowman bided his time knowing full well the freakish ability of the horse underneath him.
Approaching the home turn, Winx started to move up on the outside stalking the Godolphin galloper Hartnell.
She quickly went around the field and moved up going straight past Hartnell, defeated for a sixth time in as many runs against he champion mare.
With 200m left in the race Winx was never getting beaten, pulling away in a brilliant performance to beat home the brave Lasqueti Spirit who was given no hope by the bookies as the $151 outsider in betting.
Rounding out the Chipping Norton Stakes trifecta in third was the Waller-trained stayer Who Shot Thebarman in a top run heading towards the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) over the two miles at the track on April 8.
Bowman admitted Winx wasn’t at her best on the rain-affected track in the Chipping Norton Stakes, further adding merit to her win.
“I think she’d be more comfortable if the track wasn’t as wet as it was,” he said.
“She got the job done, but she’s more effective on Good ground.”
As for the rivals Winx easily accounted for, Bowman said the likes of Hartnell would be harder to beat getting out over more distance in the mare’s Grand Final – the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) during The Championships.
“I’m sure that Hartnell will put up more of a performance when we meet him at the Queen Elizabeth Day,” he said.
“But she’s a wonderful mare.”
2017 Chipping Norton Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 7 – 25/02/2017
|1||9||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||4||57kg||$1.22F|
|2||10||LASQUETI SPIRIT||Lee Curtis||Jay Ford||2L||9||53kg||$151|
|3||4||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tim Clark||3L||1||59kg||$151|
|4||6||MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE)||John O’Shea||Christian Reith||3.1L||2||59kg||$101|
|5||7||TAVAGO (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Tommy Berry||6.3L||6||59kg||$41|
|6||8||ENDLESS DRAMA (IRE)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||7.2L||7||59kg||$26|
|7||5||LIBRAN (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||7.8L||3||59kg||$101|
|8||1||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||9L||10||59kg||$6.50|
|9||3||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||10.3L||5||59kg||$101|
|10||2||PREFERMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Joshua Parr||25.3L||8||59kg||$101|
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