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Winx cruises to 17th win on end and 12th G1

Mike Hedge

Australia’s world champion mare Winx cantered to her 17th successive victory at Randwick on Saturday, confirming her lofty place in her country’s racing pantheon and her supremacy over all-comers on turf tracks.

Winx won the G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes by 5-1/4 lengths from Godolphin’s grand campaigner Hartnell, earning herself a Winter break before returning next Spring to attempt to win Australia’s premier WFA race, the G1 WS Cox Plate for a third time.

In a 27-start career, Winx has won 21 races and earned almost A$13 million, her winnings today taking her into second place behind three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva on Australia’s all-time money list.

Her trainer Chris Waller confirmed Winx would be back for at least one more preparation, and that connections would consider a European campaign, possibly in the summer of 2018.

For now, though, he intends to savour the achievements of the daughter of Darley’s ill-fated stallion Street Cry.  

"She's ready for a break and so am I," Waller said.

"I'm a racing fan through-and-through and, like everyone, I die to see horses like her, so having the responsibility that comes with training her makes you very emotional when it's over.

"It's indescribable really. It's me putting undue pressure on myself but it's hard not to.”

Waller indicated there will be no surprises when Winx returns in September for a Spring campaign which is likely to be geared around equaling Kingston Town's feat of three Cox Plate wins.

Winning rider Hugh Bowman joined the trainer in unbridled praise for Winx.

“She is just so dominant," Hugh Bowman said after the win.

"What a supreme athlete she is and what an honour it is to just be a part of her career.

"Just look at her she's a supreme athlete, she's the ultimate professional. I love her and I could really feel the crowd's love for her."

To Godolphin’s head Australian trainer John O’Shea and his team, the effort of Hartnell to run second to Winx for the fifth time earned wry appreciation.

“He’s run very bravely and very well, but she is a marvel,” O’Shea said.

“If not for her our horse would have won a Cox Plate and Queen Elizabeth. But she’s here and she’s the best.”