HKJC Press Release
Champion race mare Winx tops the billing on Saturday’s Jockey Club seven-race simulcast card from Randwick as she seeks her 33rd consecutive win and 25th at Group 1 level in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
The seven-year-old daughter of Street Cry has won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the two previous years and has shown no signs of any dulling of her brilliance with three wins in 2019 after she rounded out 2018 with her fourth consecutive G1 Cox Plate (2040m) victory.
Her most recent win came in the G1 George Ryder Stakes, which she claimed for the fourth straight year, on 23 March. On that occasion, she beat Brutal and Dreamforce who then ran first and second respectively in the G1 Doncaster Mile last Saturday.
Rated at 125, she currently shares the world’s top ranking with Hong Kong’s Beauty Generation and America’s City Of Light, and fans will be hoping she will delight them yet again and continue the recent feast of high-class performances following the wins of Beauty Generation and Japan’s Almond Eye over the past two weekends.
Winx had her usual exhibition gallop a week before the race assignment at Randwick last Saturday (6 April) morning and all is in “good order” according to trainer Chris Waller.
Winx galloped over 1000m in 1m 02.5s and sprinted the final 600m in 34.6 seconds under a good hold from jockey Hugh Bowman.
“We just make sure the horse is staying the same and these gallops are important to settle the nerves. I just told Hugh (Bowman) to give her a nice workout and to let her go through her gears. Everything looks good to me,” Waller said.
It has been strongly hinted that Winx will be retired after Saturday’s race although no official announcement has yet been made. Her record stands now at 36 wins and three seconds from 42 starts for prize money earnings of just above AUS$24 million which is clearly the highest of any Australian-trained horse.
It is believed that victory in the Queen Elizabeth would see her overtake Arrogate as world racing’s highest money winner. She holds the record for most Group 1 wins, most successive Group 1 wins and most successive black type wins.
She is drawn barrier nine of nine in Saturday’s race and her eight opponents include regular challenger Happy Clapper, He’s Eminent – who raced as Eminent in the UK – and Harlem who may be bound for Hong Kong if he copes well with racing right-handed.
Saturday’s Randwick program also includes three other Group 1 races – the Sydney Cup (3200m), Australian Oaks (2400m) and Coolmore Legacy Stakes (1600m).
Winx’s stablemate Verry Elleegant is expected to start favourite in the Oaks while the Charlie Appleby-trained international visitor Dubhe is expected to head the market in the Sydney Cup. Appleby won the race with Polarisation in 2017.
Dubhe has not raced since winning at the Cup distance at Meydan (Dubai) in February but has “settled in well” according to his trainer who enjoyed a treble on the recent Dubai World Cup night and who trained no fewer than 52 major race winners around the world in 2018.
“He’s travelled over well and he’s done well since he’s been here so we’re very happy with him. He’s pretty fit and there’s no problem about him getting the two miles,” said track work rider Paul Eddery who has supervised Dubhe’s preparation for Appleby.