The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Trainer Chris Waller celebrated his record 150th Group 1 victory with a brilliant comeback from his classy mare Fangirl in the 2023 Winx Stakes results.
The now two-time winning daughter of Sebring was forced into second plenty of times last prep by the Godolphin-raced Anamoe including in this race last year, but with his subsequent retirement she was able to go one better and claim the Group 1 $1 million Winx Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick.
“She’s got her day in the sun again today, and it was a fitting result. 150 Group 1’s,” Waller told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
A perennial place-getter last prep, it looks likes the sky will be the limit for Fangirl this spring after her impressive win fresh with James McDonald aboard for his third win in the race and his overall 80th career Group 1.
Relishing the Soft (6) track, the deserving Fangirl produced a huge result and really savaged the line ahead of plenty more Group 1 targets over the coming months.
After J. Mac had the eventual Winx Stakes winner settled back off the pace set by her Rosehill Guineas winning stablemate Lindermann, Fangirl ($5) worked her way into the race over the final furlong coming down the outside.
She was too strong the closing stages, charging home to defeat the brave American mare, Waller’s Hawkesbury Crown winner Princess Grace, who was good in second after finding herself on the wrong part of the track near the inside rail as a 20/1 shot.
“She dug deep today, she deserved that. Now the big boy (Anamoe) is out of the way, she’s a five-year-old, she’s fully furnished,” McDonald said of Fangirl.
“It’s fantastic for the (owners) Inghams and it’s great to get a Group 1 on her.
“She’s such a high-class mare and she’s been working extremely well. Obviously the second horse (Princess Grace) darted up there as well and she’s a high-class mare (too).
“She’s been racing against the best horses for a very long time and she deserved it.”
Beaten favourite Zaaki ($4.80F) was typically solid rounding out the Winx Stakes trifecta in third, while Waller trained three of the first four over the line with Hinged ($12) also catching the eye just missing out on a minor placing.
“When Zaaki hit the front at the 300m I thought he was home, he had good dash,” Waller admitted post-win.
“I spoke to Annabel (Neahsam – Zaaki’s trainer) before the race she said ‘he’s very well’ but she’s only given him one trial so I think he might’ve just blown up a bit.
“But he’s a great horse and to finally peg him back I think added credit to her win.”
2023 Winx Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||13||FANGIRL||Chris Waller||James McDonald||11||57kg||$5|
|2||15||PRINCESS GRACE (USA)||Chris Waller||Brett Prebble||0.3L||1||57kg||$21|
|3||2||ZAAKI (GB)||Annabel Neasham||Ms Jamie Kah||0.48L||8||59kg||$4.80F|
|4||16||HINGED||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||1.01L||5||57kg||$12|
|5||8||OSIPENKO (NZ)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||1.24L||17||58.5kg||$21|
|6||1||THINK IT OVER||Kerry Parker||Nash Rawiller||1.46L||7||59kg||$11|
|7||11||DUAIS||Edward Cummings||Jason Collett||1.77L||9||57kg||$41|
|8||12||MONTEFILIA||Chris Waller||Dylan Gibbons (a)||2.21L||15||57kg||$21|
|9||17e||KING COLORADO||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ms Louise Day||2.39L||3||50.5kg||$14|
|10||5||FRANCESCO GUARDI (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||3.12L||6||59kg||$101|
|11||6||COMMUNIST||Michael Freedman||Tyler Schiller||4.56L||14||58.5kg||$26|
|12||9||LINDERMANN||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4.97L||18||58.5kg||$14|
|13||18e||NAVAJO PEAK||David Payne||Joshua Parr||5.3L||12||59kg||$71|
|14||10||MAJOR BEEL (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||5.67L||10||58.5kg||$26|
|15||7||GOLDEN MILE||James Cummings||Chad Schofield||6.41L||2||58.5kg||$12|
|16||3||MO’UNGA (NZ)||Annabel Neasham||Sam Clipperton||7.22L||16||59kg||$9|
|14||GOING GLOBAL (IRE)||Chris Waller||Regan Bayliss||0|
|4||ARAPAHO (FR)||Bjorn Baker||Ms Rachel King||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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