In her first race in nearly four months, Winx showed no signs of rust.
In her first start since winning the William Hill W.S. Cox Plate (G1) for a second straight year, Australia's reigning middle distance champion extended her win streak to 14 straight races with an easy win of nearly three lengths over familiar rival Hartnell Feb. 13 in the (Aus)$250,000 Apollo Stakes (G2) at Royal Randwick.
The victory by Winx matches a win streak posted by Australian racing legend Phar Lap. Trainer Chris Waller told Australia's Daily Telegraph that he was aware of the significance of 14 straight wins in that regard.
"I try not to read too much or listen too much about the records but I knew she was out to equal Phar Lap today,'' Waller told Daily Telegraph. "I try to keep it in perspective, Phar Lap backed up week in, week out over all distances.
"But we are not sheltering Winx, either. We are running in all the best races but we do protect her in terms of how many runs she has each preparation."
Winx, a 5-year-old daughter of Street Cry, was guided to victory by her usual rider Hugh Bowman. Waller said there are always some butterflies in a return.
"It is always good to get that first race over with and we can look ahead to the rest of her autumn campaign," Waller said.
Hartnell also finished second to Winx in the W.S. Cox Plate, where he was eight lengths back. Picking up third on Monday was Endless Drama.
The longest win streak by an Australian-based horse in major racing is three-time Australian Horse of the Year Black Caviar at 25.
Bred in Australia by Fairway Thoroughbreds, Winx was purchased by Magic Bloodstock for the U.S. equivalent of $241,569 from the Coolmore Stud consignment to the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale.
The mare races for Magic Bloodstock Racing, R. G. Treweeke, and Mrs. D. N. Kepitis.