SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s favourite racehorse Winx delivered another dominant performance in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday to win her 33rd successive race and head into retirement with a world record 25 Group One victories.
Attracting a huge amount of backing despite prohibitive odds of 50/3 on, a 37th career win from 43 starts for the seven-year-old bay mare never looked in doubt and she stormed across the line a length-and-a-half clear of Kluger.
There were tears aplenty as the sell-out crowd of 42,000 at Royal Randwick gave her a standing ovation as she rode around her home racecourse, venue of 20 of her wins, for the final time.
“It’s just an amazing experience,” said Chris Waller, his voice breaking from the emotion as he celebrated what was his 100th Group One win as a trainer.
“It’s great for our sport, it’s great for Australia.”
Her 37 victories matched the career record of Phar Lap, while she extended the record of Group One wins she took sole possession of last month with her 23rd win.
Comparisons with Phar Lap have abounded this week with some suggesting Winx’s record meant she had now surpassed the champion thoroughbred of the 1920s and 1930s as Australia’s greatest racehorse.
It was Winx’s third straight victory in the 2,000 metre Group One race and came on the back of four straight victories in the Cox Plate — Australia’s richest weight-for-age race.
Her regular jockey Hugh Bowman sustained a split lip when Winx raised her head as he attempted to kiss her after dismounting but nothing was going to ruin his day.
“There’s not much more to say,” he said. “To have had a horse like her come into my life … I’m so proud of her.
“The amazing horse Winx has continued to deliver. I’ll be forever thankful to her.
“Maybe we’ll never know how good she really is.”
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)