Jockey Hugh Bowman on Winx gestures to the crowd as they return to scale after winning the TAB Chipping Norton Stakes.
Jockey Hugh Bowman on Winx gestures to the crowd as they return to scale after winning the TAB Chipping Norton Stakes. DAVID MOIR

Racing star Winx continues unbeaten run

IS there anything Winx can't do?

Her opposition can't get near her, she breaks records for fun, and it doesn't matter what track conditions she has to endure, the mighty mare just keeps winning.

Winx is becoming "racing's greatest show on turf" thrilling race fans with another dominant win in the Group 1 $600,000 TAB Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

But in the build-up to the race, racetrack rumour had trainer Chris Waller ready to scratch the champion mare due to the rain-sodden heavy Randwick track surface.

It was only after the race that Waller revealed how close he came to asking stewards permission to withdraw Winx.

"I didn't want to let the public down, and I didn't want to let Winx down,'' Waller said.

"I was so close to scratching her but we made the right decision. I walked the track before the race and it looked pretty good to me. It was safe and that was my main concern.

"There was so much bit of expectation to run her - I didn't want to see tomorrow's newspaper if I didn't run her."

Waller will be happy to read the Sunday papers and take in another unforgettable effort by Winx because the trainer admitted the race was a blur.

"In fact, her whole career has been like that really, I will have to watch the replay tonight," he said.

"But I am so proud of her. She is a beautiful mare. She can't do much more than what she is doing. She is getting the respect she deserves and you can't ask for much more than that."

Winx delighted the crowd who braved the wet conditions at randwick to pick up her 10th Group 1 win.

Winx did drift from $1.10 out to $1.22 but she never gave jockey Hugh Bowman or punters a moment's concern as she romped home untroubled by two lengths from the very game Lasqueti Spirit ($151) with a length to Who Shot Thebarman ($151).

Winx's old rival Hartnell ($7 into $6.50) ran poorly, finishing a distant eighth as Sydney's super mare continued to rewrite racing history, including:

Bowman revealed Waller sought his counsel earlier in the day about whether how he felt Winx would handle the heavy nine track surface.

"I said she would be fine," Bowman said.

"But Chris monitored conditions as the day went on, at the end of the day it is his decision and I would prefer not to interfere.

"Today the conditions were fair and even, yeah sure it is wet but everyone is getting their chance and it is just a case of whether your horse can cope with the surface or not. Clearly this mare can.

"She would be more comfortable if the surface wasn't as wet as it is. Over the final stages when we had the race won and stopped pushing her she really idled down, which isn't really in her make up."

As owners Debbie Kepitis and Peter Tighe accepted the congratulations of rivals and everyday punters after the race, Waller took a moment to reflect on the crowd reaction to Winx's win.

"She is pretty amazing and so many people are enjoying her racing,'' he said.

"She has a great group of owners who have done nothing but support her every day through her career."

Waller confirmed Winx will go to the Group 1 $1 million George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 18 as her final lead-up race into Sydney's richest race, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

AUSTRALIAN WINNING STREAKS

25 Black Caviar

19 Gloaming, Desert Gold

18 Ajax

17 Mainbrace

15 WINX, Bernborough, Carbine

14 Phar Lap

13 Limerick

Winx's 15th straight win equalled the winning streaks of turf greats Carbine and Bernborough.

MOST AUSTRALIAN GROUP 1 WINS

15 Black Caviar

14 Kingston Town

13 Sunline, Tie The Knot

11 Manikato, Lonhro, Rough Habit

10 WINX, Octagonal

9 Northerly

LEADING PRIZEMONEY EARNERS

1 Makybe Diva $14,526,690

2 Sunline $11,351,610

3 WINX $9,846,925

4 Northerly $9,341,850

5 So You Think $8,813,497

News Corp Australia


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