It is official, Winx has won three Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick, eight Group 1 win in succession, 29 black type wins and 27 wins in succession. Her win in the 2018 George Main Stakes on Saturday was yet another marvellous demonstration of the mare’s extraordinary powers.
Winx, trained by Chris Waller and ridden by Hugh Bowman, settled second last to stablemate Egg Tart and allowed proceedings up front to carry on undisturbed as the seven strong field went down the back and along the High Street side.
Bowman released the brakes slightly passing the 600m going three wide as he tracked Le Romain and James McDonald. Around the turn and up the hill at the 400m they went. Le Romain went to the lead and then there was a decent gap back to Winx racing in the middle of the track.
For a second that gap appeared to be a matter for concern, but this is Winx and she fixed Le Romain in her sights closing in towards the Group 1 winner, then she was past at the 150m.
In strides once again Winx was gone, off to the line leaving the mortals, good mortals, behind with the winning margin 4L over a brave Le Romain (Hard Spun) and McDonald. It was another wonderful performance warmly saluted by the crowd as the mare went past the post and then returned to the winners stall.
Egg Tart (Sebring) and Kerrin McEvoy were a closing third, the margin a short head, with Ace High fourth and It’s Somewhat (USA) fifth.
The time was 1.34.21 on the Good 4 track with the final 600m in 33.81. Winx paid $1.10 on fixed odds and $1.04 on the tote.
Winx and Hugh Bowman in full flight, picture Sportpix.com.au
“Le Romain is a very good horse and had every right to take us all the way to the 200m and she had every right to get on top of them over the last 200m and that is how it panned out," said Waller.
“If you expect to win races at the 300m everytime you will probably come off second best, but it was a well-judged ride by Hughie, he knew he had the extra ten percent that you see with her every start and it gets her out of trouble and is why this winning sequence continues.
“It is quite unbelievable and she has some gears and I hope we do not need to find any more gears, but it is very special not just here at Randwick, but around Australia and wherever she races, most importantly on the TV.
“It keeps going to a new level every time and she is a superstar.”
“We will see how she pulls up and we said we would take it one run at a time, we are thinking about a Cox Plate obviously and the best way is to take it one run at a time.”
“I would say it will be in Melbourne but we will enjoy today and talk about it next week, it will be no great surprise I am sure, but if we do change it will be for a reason and that reason is the horse comes first.”
“I did enjoy that the last 100m was quite special," he said.
“That was a very strong pace. Even with Religify, that is his natural way of racing, but I didn’t expect them to go quite that fast. Le Romain ran a hell of a race and at the corner, I didn’t feel in danger, but I didn’t feel like she was going to be as dominant as she usually is, but when that turbo kicked into gear at the 250m it was all over,” said Bowman.
“She just knows what she is doing now. I used to control her through the gears, through the race, to help her know when and where to give her full energy but she knows now.
"I suppose I have got to learn with her and understand, and I am learning with her, but it’s the first time I have niggled her around the corner in a 1600m race but I guess that’s a couple of things. The pace we were going and the class of horses she races against, they are the best in the country.”
“We will be lucky to see another one like her, while I am alive anyway, I think that is a given. How lucky I am to be involved with such a horse,” he said.
Winx has now won stakes of just short of $20 million at $19,577,425 from her 37 starts and 31 wins, plus three seconds for owners Peter Tigh, Debbie Keptis and Richard Treweeke.
A fourth Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley in October awaits.
Bowman brings Winx back to scale, picture Sportpix.com.au
George Main Stakes, photo finish picture ATC
What the beaten jockeys said:
James McDonald (Le Romain): “I thought I pinched it then I thought Winx is in the race. He has gone good.”
Tye Angland (Who Shot Thebarman): “Jumped well, travelled good but the firm track might have been too firm.”
Corey Brown (It's Somewhat): “He actually raced very good. He has lost all of his early toe, he has run through the line good. Might have to tweak him up with a pair of blinkers.”
Jay Ford (Religify): “Honest as usual. Finding the class at the top level a bit too much.”
Jason Collett (Ace High): “Good performance. Just outsprinted when they dashed.”
Kerrin McEvoy (Egg Tart): “Good run by her. Travelled well throughout to get into placings.”
Perfection...— TAB (@tabcomau) September 15, 2018
As we've seen many times before, Winx gets a patient ride from Bowman through the turn and glides away from her rivals to win the G1 Optic White Stakes and extend her record to 27 straight.
Long Live the Queen! #GoWinx pic.twitter.com/ewaA2TomkB