February 25, 2018

Winx is the Cox Plate victor

30 October 2017, 01:45 | Kenneth Drake

GETTY IMAGES Winx will be back at Moonee Valley on Saturday to try and win her third Cox Plate

Winx will be back at Moonee Valley on Saturday to try and win her third Cox Plate

Winx is trained by Kiwi, Chris Waller, who was in tears after the race as he paid tribute.

But she then had an unexpected challenge from Group 1 victor Humidor, who had been more than seven lengths behind her in the Group 1 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes three weeks ago.

In her latest moment of Australian racing history, Winx became the second horse to win three consecutive runnings of the Group 1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne on Saturday.

Winx had to overcome a tough three wide run and sustained a long run from the 800m when Hugh Bowman made a decision to put the pressure on her rival runners.

In joining Kingston Town as a three-time victor of Australia's most prestigious weight-for-age race, Winx also took her sequence to 22 consecutive victories yesterday.

Winx, who has now won 26 of her 32 career starts, also matched the Australasian record of 15 Group 1 wins set by former sprinting star Black Caviar.

And she didn't disappoint, out-classing all opposition in the race.

"I was born the year Kingston Town won his first Cox Plate".

"I'm not there myself but Jo Taylor and the staff said she's fantastic so that was music to my ears".

"We are in the presence of greatness", an emotional Bowman said after the race.

"She will will be recognised as one of the greatest horses to grace the Australian turf and to be a part of her career, I can't explain how much that means".

"It was close, as you would expect in a Cox Plate", he said. I have had an incredible career and Winx delivered me my first major group one in this exact race three years ago and she has now delivered me with my only other two.

"You've got the elite horses, the elite jockeys but it's one of those days where everything has fallen into place".

Bowman is the country's leading Group One jockey, and Waller is Australia's leading Group One trainer.

Only 11 horses have won more successive races than Winx's 22, several of them in lower-level racing jurisdictions and against less-than-top quality opposition.

Despite Lucky Hussler's form looking below par on paper, Shinn said trainer Darren Weir was bullish about the gelding's chances pre-race.

Added Tighe: "We said we wanted the world to come to us and a lot of them have done - and we've beaten them".

"No I don't think [it was harder with four lead-in runs]".

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