Winx made it interesting by giving her rivals a start, but by the end of the 2000-metre Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on Saturday, it was once again a one-horse show.
Such was the performance of the super mare, Winx may finally be granted outright top billing in the world as she thrashed multiple Group 1 winners Gailo Chop, Happy Clapper as well as Australian Cup winner Humidor – the horse that pushed her in last spring’s Cox Plate.
Currently sharing top billing in the world with the recently-retired Gun Runner on a ratings figure of 129, Winx again showed the world handicappers that rate such elite performances for the Longines World’s Best Racehorse rankings, that indeed she has no peer anywhere in the world.
In completing her 25th victory in a row, Winx drew level with Black Caviar at that figure and continued her charge towards becoming the first $20 million racehorse in these parts with her prize money levels rising to an unprecedented $18.88 million.
It was her 29th overall win and her 18th group 1 victory.
By race time, Winx had eased out to $1.24 but had a three-and-three-quarter length margin over Gailo Chop ($26) with a neck to Happy Clapper ($11) in third place.
The job was in certainly in front of the super mare on turning for home as the leader Gailo Chop surged clear and jockey Hugh Bowman had the entire field in front of him. But Winx found a gear her rivals do not own and she went clear to win by about four lengths from Gailo Chop and Happy Clapper.
Trainer Chris Waller has often said he has run out of words to describe the mare and this was quite true post-race. “Hard to describe. We’ve got an amazing sport,” he said finally.
Waller was quick to point out that while Winx was going for her winter spell, plans are already afoot for when she returns in the spring for an attempt on a record fourth Cox Plate.
“We’ll have thoughts on our minds from tonight,” he said. “We’ll start to work the time off she’s had and how long she needs to be in to prepare.”
Hugh Bowman said: “She’s just an exceptional athlete, she creates so much attention, I’m just so elated, I’m so proud of her and I’m just so proud to be a part of it.”
He said he always had the race in control: “I know I’ve got the engine to round them up, but I can’t do it on my own, Ambitious made a bit of a mid-race move, which fortunately played into my hands.
“The bottom line is she’s got 10 to 12 lengths on her rivals. It makes it easy for me.
“There’s so many cogs to the wheel and I know I get the dream ride here today, God forbid if something went wrong it wouldn’t be a good place to be, but she’s so exceptional, she is able to overcome everything and what a pleasure she is for sport.
Mark Zahra aboard the second-placed Gailo Chop was delighted was his import’s performance: “He has run enormous. There aren’t many times you go into a group 1 happy to run second but I think we can do that today.”
Kerrin McEvoy said third-placed Happy Clapper was brave in defeat. “He went great. It was just a modest tempo. He applied himself well though and stayed on nicely.”
Even the fourth-placed rider Blake Shinn could find positives with his mount: “Humidor ran super. There just wasn’t enough tempo there to give him an opportunity to run at his best. I thought he ran a brave race with a creditable fourth.”
The Japanese import Ambitious was beaten into fifth place but Craig Williams said there were excuses: “He got the first 1000 metres right. Then someone got on him from behind, he got keen and took off from that time. I thought he was a bit plain in his action in the straight but it turns out he has lost three shoes so it is a good excuse.”