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Horse racing-Champion mare Winx set for 2019 farewell

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By Reuters

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australian champion mare Winx will look to extend her record 29-race winning streak before retiring in the first half of 2019, trainer Chris Waller said on Friday.

The bay mare won the A$3 million (1.69 million pounds) Cox Plate for a fourth time at Moonee Valley in October to extend her record as the most successful flat racer in Group One races.

Waller said an agreement had been reached with the seven-year-old’s connections for her to return to the track, most likely at the Group Two Apollo Stakes at Sydney’s Royal Randwick in February.

“She has nothing left to prove to us or her many followers and we are under no illusion that she is getting a little older, however, she is in excellent condition both physically and mentally and had she not pleased us in any area of her wellbeing or mental state she would have been retired immediately,” Waller said in a statement on Friday.

Winx could run her farewell race at the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick in April, he said, playing down her prospects of running overseas.

“We have and will continue to keep things simple with Winx and I believe that has been a big part of her longevity as well as something we are very proud of,” he added.

Winx has won 33 of her 39 starts and has record track earnings of almost A$23 million.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)