Her eight length romp was the biggest winning margin in the history of Australasia’s weight-for-age championship in what was a career best performance that sent veteran racegoers into a spin.
The mare stalked the second favourite Hartnell throughout, before they came with runs past the 600 metre mark. No sooner had Hartnell hit the front, Winx was ready to pounce and pounce she did.
When Bowman asked the mare to extend she did to the cheers of an adoring crowd. Despite easing up near the line Winx held an eight length margin over Hartnell, while Yankee Rose was another three parts of a length back third.
Today’s record breaking effort made it back to back wins in the Cox Plate for Winx – her 2015 and 2016 wins achieved by a combined margin of twelve and three quarter lengths.
Winning trainer Chris Waller was almost lost for words, describing the performance as “quite unbelievable.”
“Obviously I thought she could win, but never like that,” an emotional Waller told reporters after the race. ”
“You never expect to win like that,” Waller said. “I’m very proud and it’s just fantastic for racing.”
“It’s such a great sport – everyone can compete in it, no matter who you are – everyone is the same on a racetrack.”
What’s next for Winx? Short term who knows – but already Waller is thinking of a third Cox Plate.
“I’d love to win a third one. She’ll be back again next year – that will be right at the top of the pecking order.”
Winning rider Hugh Bowman said being able to ride the champion galloper was a true privilege.
“She’s just a superior racehorse and it’s an honour to be a part of it,” Bowman said post-race. “Honestly she’s just given us all the most amazing ride.”
“To come out onto the track before the race and to have the crowd cheer like that, I was really moved by that.”
“I just can’t believe it, it’s such an amazing experience,” the champion jockey summed up.
Part owner Debbie Kepitis, a daughter of legendary racehorse owner and breeder Bob Ingham, had trouble putting the performance into words.
“My Dad once said, to win a Cox Plate is an enormous thrill, to win two Cox Plates is an absolute dream.”
“This has been phenomenal. There’s so many people to thank I wouldn’t know how to start. But the most important is Winx the horse – without her we have nothing.”
Racing Victoria’s GM of Racing, Greg Carpenter told Racing.com that the mare’s performance was a career best and would see her climb the world’s best list when it is updated in three weeks time.
“I’ll have a look at the replay and the performances of Vadamos and Hartnell but that was a career high for her and it should shoot her past a mark of 130,” Carpenter said.
Winx went into her second Cox Plate with a rating of 127 – achieved for her record breaking success in the Doncaster Mile earlier in the year.
In winning her second Cox Plate, Winx sent her prizemoney earnings soaring over $9.3 million – to be the third highest earning Australasian racehorse of all time.
Winx’s achievements to date are incredible considering the highest earners Makybe Diva and Sunline had 13 and 25 more starts respectively to retired on their prizemoney hauls.
Bred by the Camilleri family of Fairway Thoroughbreds, Winx was sold for $230,000 through the draft of Coolmore Stud at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
At the auction she caught the eye of Waller’s bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster and it was connections, through Magic Bloodstock, who held the bid when auctioneer Grant Burns dropped the gavel.
From her 23 lifetime starts Winx has raced to 17 wins, including her last 13 in a row. Nine of her wins have come at Group One level.
The daughter of Street Cry is from the stakes winning Al Akbar mare Vegas Showgirl – herself a $455,000 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale buy for Colm Santry, on behalf of Fairway Thoroughbreds.
Vegas Showgirl won seven races in the card of Graeme Rogerson and won stakes races at Ellerslie and Avondale before being sold as a breeding prospect on the Gold Coast.
Breeding: Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl (Al Akbar)
Race: MVRC WS Cox Plate G1 (2040m)
Sold for: $230,000
Sale: 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
Vendor: Coolmore Stud (As Agent)
Buyer: Magic Bloodstock
Owner(s): Magic Bloodstock Racing (Mgr: PG Tighe), RG Treweeke & Mrs DN Kepitis
Trainer: Chris Waller (Rosehill)