A number of the top-fancied mares to take out...
The fairytale came to a close on Saturday as Winx claimed her 33rd consecutive win, her 25th Group 1, and her third Queen Elizabeth Stakes in front of a jam-packed crowd at Royal Randwick.
History was on the line as the mighty mare stepped out one last time, and in her usual fashion, Winx put the rest of the field away to win easily by a length and a half. Jockey Hugh Bowman remained cool, calm and collected over the 2000m journey, allowing Winx to do what she does best: wind up from the outside and storm home late.
Jumping from barrier seven, Winx was ridden quietly in the early stages of the race one off the fence. Mask of Time and Hartnell sat up on the speed, while He’s Eminent, a horse many thought to be Winx’s biggest challenger, drifted to the rear of the field.
Bowman was asked on his emotions after the race, holding back tears to thank everyone that has supported Winx’s journey.
“It’s over isn’t it?” Bowman said.
“Very mixed, so proud to be a part of it, it’s been very real for me all day, the amount of people here, it’s just amazing.
“The horse has captured the hearts of a lot of people around the globe, and there’s really nothing more for me to say, she just showed you what she’s capable of doing. And I dare say if she had something else to catch, she’d have more to give, but maybe we’ll never know how good she really is.”
At the 1200m mark Winx was fourth last, but it didn’t matter as Bowman kicked her into gear earlier than normal. Like we’ve seen time and time again, the rest of the field chose to save their legs and try and outsprint the mighty mare down the straight, but to no avail.
Lost among the storybook ending was Waller’s 100th Group 1 win. The emotional trainer remained humble and grateful after the race as he thanked all of Winx’s fans.
“It’s just such a beautiful moment not just for me, my beautiful wife and my beautiful children, but also the beautiful people who have been right with Winx, whether they’re here at Randwick today, all around Australia, the world, thank you very much” Waller said.
Kluger ran on brilliantly to finish second, while Winx now retires having won a quarter of Waller’s Group 1 victories, with a cool $26,336,670 worth of prize-money to her name.
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