The wonder from Down Under put a closing exclamation point on her season April 8 at Royal Randwick, cruising to a 5 1/4-length victory in the AU$4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) with the ease of a Saturday stroll.
Winx, who extended her win streak to 17 and upped her group 1 tally to 12, brought a crowd of 26,801 to Randwick Saturday during The Championships, eclipsing the 25,535 that came to see Black Caviar win her final race in 2013. She put away old rival Hartnell with devastating ease in the 2,000-meter (about 1 1/4-mile) test, geared down under regular rider Hugh Bowman after making a powerful outside move to take control off the turn. Sense of Occasion came in third.
“It’s just a big relief for the day to be finally here and to have the job done," trainer Chris Waller told Racing.com. "It’s indescribable really. We take it as it comes. She’s doing great things."
“What a supreme athlete she is, and what an honor it is to just be a part of her career,’’ Bowman told the Herald Sun. "She’s the ultimate professional. I love her and I could really feel the crowd’s love for her.”
Bowman said the race was as easy as it appeared for the 5-year-old daughter of Street Cry.
“There wasn’t a lot of pace on paper. I wouldn’t say it was a high-pressure race today,’’ he told the Herald Sun. "Everyone found their spot and even slowed it up mid-race and it was a bit of a sprint home.
“I don’t think you see the best of her when it is that sort of race. I mean she is obviously still good. She wheeled, passed them at the top of the straight, and she still let down. But I honestly I think when she gets in a high-pressure race, when there is a lot of pace from the start like there was in last year’s Cox Plate—that’s when you see the best of her.”
Winx took her earnings to AU$12,708,930, the second-highest of all time in Australia behind Makybe Diva's AU$14,526,900. Her current win tally leaves her behind only Black Caviar (25), Gloaming and Desert Gold (19), and Ajax (18) for the longest win streaks in Australian racing history. Black Caviar also set the all-time record for group 1 wins there, with 15. Winx has an overall record of 20 wins and three seconds from 27 starts.
Waller will rest his superstar for a period before returning her to the races with an eye on the Oct. 28 W. S. Cox Plate (G1), where she will attempt to equal Kingston Town’s record as the only winner of three successive editions (1980-82).