Winx, Australia's reigning super mare, had no trouble with the heavy turf against six overmatched opponents in the March 18 China Horse Club George Ryder Stakes (G1) and rolled to her 16th straight win by more than seven lengths.
Winx was a step slow out of the gate and took up a position behind the leaders three wide. By the top of the lane, however, she was in full stride and the issue no longer was in doubt.
Le Romain and Chautauqua gave futile chase, finishing second and third as Winx, a 5-year-old Street Cry mare, slogged through 1,500 meters (about 7 1/2 furlongs) of heavy turf in 1:34.87 under regular rider Hugh Bowman.
Endless Drama and Tosen Stardom were late scratches for the feature at Rosehill Gardens in suburban Sydney.
Winx's performance against the best available competition even started local tongues wagging with the question—could she even be better than Black Caviar? Probably not yet. Black Caviar retired undefeated with a 25-race win streak and 15 group 1 wins against Winx's current total of 11.
Still trainer Chris Waller said Winx performed even beyond his expectations Saturday and raised his hopes she has not yet fully realized her potential. He added the spirited stretch drive in the George Ryder will stand her in good stead when she tackles 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) in the upcoming Queen Elizabeth (G1).
"I didn't expect her to win like that," Waller said. "She is just an amazing horse."
Winx highlighted a big day of racing at Rosehill Gardens.
In the Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (G1), New Zealand Derby winner Gingernuts served notice he's to be reckoned with in some big races down the road. The Kiwi-bred Iffrajj gelding picked up his fourth straight win, besting the favorite, Inference, by nearly 1 1/2 lengths.
Gingernuts, ridden by Tommy Berry, ran 2,000 meters on the heavy turf in 2:11.46. So Si Bon was just a head behind Inference in third.
Earlier on the card, Hartnell took a break from his competition with Winx to contest the 2,000-meter Ranvet Stakes—only to finish second to a different foe, German-bred Our Ivanhowe. Under Kerrin McEvoy, Our Ivanhowe finished in 2:10.62 with The United States close behind Hartnell for third.
A 7-year-old son of Soldier Hollow, Our Ivanhowe was making his first start of the season after struggling during the Southern Hemisphere springtime, including a 17th-place finish in the Melbourne Cup (G1). He had not won since taking the Doomben Cup (G1) in May.
She Will Reign did just that in the day's richest race, the AU$3.5 million (US$2.7 million) Longines Golden Slipper (G1) for 2-year-olds. The Manhattan Rain filly rallied from well back to score her fourth win from five starts by a length.
Menari finished second but was set down to fourth for interference. That elevated Frolic to second and Tulip to third and gave fillies an official sweep of the top three placings. The favorite, Houtzen, finished fifth.
Ben Melham rode She Will Reign over 1,200 meters (about six furlong) in 1:15.04 for trainer Gary Portelli. Her only defeat was a second-place upset at the hands of Frolic in the Reisling Stakes (G2) March 4. Saturday's race was her first try at the highest level.
Russian Revolution, the favorite, won the Nathan's Famous Hotdogs Galaxy Stakes (G1) by a neck over Redzel. Jungle Edge finished a close third. Russian Revolution, a 3-year-old Snitzel colt, gave McEvoy his second group 1 win on the card to go with thirds in the Guineas and Golden Slipper.