WINX wins the Chipping Norton
Sydney – Superstar mare Winx landed a world record 23rd Group 1 victory with relative ease in the Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick, surpassing Irish jumper Hurricane Fly’s number of top-flight triumphs in the process.
The eight-year-old, sent off 1-12 favourite, also stretched her unbeaten streak to 31 races.
For a fleeting moment, you could be forgiven if you thought Saturday might be the day the streak would end.
The Chipping Norton Stakes was supposed to be a procession. Another race that Winx would dominate, adding to her seemingly endless tally of wins.
She is rated the equal-best in the world and has proven for the best part of four years that nothing in Australia is up to her standard.
But with Happy Clapper storming to a commanding lead and jockey Blake Shinn daring to dream, there was a moment where it wasn’t ridiculous to think the streak may come to an end.
Happy Clapper made it a contest, but once again Australia’s favourite horse reeled him in.
“She is amazing, Blake (Shinn) really made it a test today, like Josh Parr did on Red Excitement once before, but she can just cover all bases this mare, she is just an amazing athlete. There are no more words to describe her,” jockey Hugh Bowman said.
“I think today when you watch the replay, at the 700m, you would have thought she was out of business.
“Another jockey may have thought that, but I knew when I balanced up she was going to rally. There was no way Happy Clapper could sustain that speed and I knew that when she balanced up she would have the energy required to reel him in.
“And I’ll be honest, although I was pushing her, she was doing it with relative ease, and I think if I would have struck her she would have found another couple of lengths for me.
“Blake is one of the few jockeys that will go out there and try and do something different, I actually anticipated he would try and go really slow and he probably realised he couldn’t win if he did that, he has done the opposite.
“With a small field, the opposition she is taking on, they are not all the best horses, but the reality is the best horses won’t take her on.”
Winx’s victory in the Chipping Norton Stakes was her fourth consecutively, equalling the great Tie The Knot, who won four straight between 1999 and 2002. – www.racingpost.com