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Bowman: Focus Is What Makes Winx So Special

By Brad Gray
At Rosehill Gardens

Star mare Winx was a picture of concentration as she charged down the Royal Randwick straight in an exhibition gallop ahead of next Saturday’s $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).

The six-year-old worked over 1000m running 1:02.19s and slipping home her last 600m in a slick 34.26s despite Hugh Bowman, who had recovered in time from a virus to ride her, hardly moving a muscle.

According to Bowman, it’s that focus that makes Winx the world’s best, with the champion hoop recalling a piece of work from last year in Melbourne.

“When I galloped her at Flemington before the Turnbull Stakes there was a huge flock of seagulls in the straight and she got to within a couple of metres of a few of them but she had her head down and would’ve taken them out,” Bowman said.

“Most horses, I’d say 95% in that circumstance, would hesitate and baulk. She went through them as if they weren’t there. It’s an advertisement for how focused she is as an athlete and it’s one of the attributes that makes her so special.”

Today’s gallop was simply “maintenance” with Bowman suggesting she felt as good as she looked. It was the first time since Winx won the George Ryder that Bowman had ridden her.

“She was strong. With the ear muffs off, the crowd here, the race day atmosphere certainly switches her on and that’s the purpose as to why Chris (Waller) brings her here. To get that extra 15% of energy spent without actually having to work her any harder on the track,” said Bowman.

“She is fresh and ready to go. When she knew I was about to slip her a bit of leather she really took advantage of it and worked home really quickly. She enjoyed the work and so did I.”

It’s standard for Waller to work Winx between races the week before a race and Sydney’s leading trainer also gave the gallop a thumbs up.

“She makes it look like it was dead-set three quarter pace and was only just getting into her stride,” said Waller.

“Today was the most she has done in the past few weeks. Next week she’ll have one more piece of work to keep her nice and sharp.”

Check out the replays and results for Day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick

 

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