WINX wins Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Sydney – Will Australian super-mare Winx go for an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate? Or will her connections spring a surprise and run her in The Everest, the world’s richest race on turf with a purse of at A$13-million?
Trainer Chris Waller has plenty of time to ponder this question as the champion mare heads to the spelling paddock after her magnificent win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Winx equalled Black Caviar’s 25-race winning streak and secured her 18th Group 1 win, extending her own world record for career majors.
But Waller won’t be drawn on springtime plans for Winx just yet.
“She will have a good spell of four to six weeks so she can chill out and be a horse,’’ the trainer said.
“But everything we do with Winx is about trying to create longevity. When she comes back in, we want to see her enjoying her work and showing us she wants to continue her racing.’’
Winx is a rising seven-year-old mare but seems to be going as well as ever which gives Waller the opportunity to consider his options for the spring.
They include The Everest, run over 1200m at Royal Randwick on October 13, and the A$3-million Cox Plate (2040m) run at Moonee Valley two weeks later.
It would be virtually impossible for a horse to run competitively in both races, even one as good as Winx.
So, Waller and Winx’s owners must decide on the best option.
Winx hasn’t raced over less than 1400m for more than two years and it is no doubt she is most effective over a middle distance.
But Winx has such explosive powers of acceleration she would be more than competitive first-up in The Everest if she was trained specifically for the 1200m.
Waller and two of Winx’s owners, Peter Tighe and Debbie Kepitis, do have shares in an Everest starting slot.
Fixed odds layers have Winx at $15 behind Redzel ($4.40 favourite) for The Everest while the mare firmed from $1.65 to $1.50 for the Cox Plate after her Queen Elizabeth Stakes win.
Her Queen Elizabeth stakes triumph was her sixth Group 1 for the season, a record matched only by three other horses — Kingston Town, Weekend Hussler and Black Caviar.
But only the mighty mares Winx and Black Caviar have been able to win six Group 1 races in each of two seasons.
The Queen Elizabeth Stakes meeting attracted 25,882 people to the racecourse to watch Winx race into immortality.
Winx’s race was also shown live on various television outlets, with widespread public interest in the race. – dailytelegraph.co.au