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Legend Grows After Winx Bombs Start

By Brad Gray At Royal Randwick

It very nearly all came unstuck for mighty mare Winx after she sensationally bombed the start by four lengths in the $250,000 Group Two Warwick Stakes (1400m) but after she lengthened stride to reel in Foxplay, her legend only grew.

Winx drew a crowd of 10,688 to Royal Randwick and a raucous cheer welcomed her into the parade ring but no one would have forecasted what they were about to witness, or feel for that matter. Silence fell over the crowd in the initial stages, hearts skipped beats and sighs of relief were exhaled. It was expected to be a stroll in the park, with Winx starting $1.10 with TAB, however it turned out to be anything but.

Winx doing the impossible!

“What else can I say? She is just a freak,” Hugh Bowman gushed.

“She can be fractious and threw herself around when the gates opened.

“I was a bit worried going past the 700m the way the track conditions are. They are really running slick times. I thought it was probably mathematically impossible but there was nothing I could do about it.

“I just had to rely on the engine I know is in her. If I took off early to get closer I would have run out of gas. I just had to have confidence in her and ride her to win the race. I was stuck back there and I was thinking this isn’t good I don’t like to be here but it was an amazing feeling the last 200m.

That last 200m she stopped the clock at a staggering 10.71 seconds and recorded 31.88 seconds for her last 600m.

“I wasn’t nervous. There wasn’t anything I could do about it. I thought everybody else would be nervous for the first 50 metres but all I could do was let her get in her rhythm and ride the race.

“She is just so much better than them.”

Winx has some outstanding wins on her resume including overcoming severe interference in the 2015 Theo Marks Stakes, so where does this effort rank for Bowman?

“It’s not up there with the George Ryder or the Cox Plates but I suppose to the eye it was pretty impressive,” Bowman said.

“It wasn’t a big margin but she won pretty easy.”

It would have been a strange feeling for Chris Waller if Winx’s gallant stablemate Foxplay was the one to end Winx’s winning streak, which now stands at 18.

“She’s had everything Winx has had. They went out together 16 weeks ago to spell together. They did the same pre-training. They live together. It was very good they went one-two and very good they finished that way around,” Waller said.

“Hugh never panicked. When you put the reins in his hands you know you’ve got the right man aboard. He realised he had to make up a bit of ground and used the full length of the straight to do it.

“I’d say (Winx) will be back here in two weeks (for the Chelmsford Stakes). She has come back that bit bigger.”

All the replays and results for Royal Randwick on Saturday

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