By Brad Gray
Winx is the undisputed queen of world racing at the moment and Hugh Bowman, who took her for a final spin on Thursday morning on the Rosehill course proper, says she is well aware of it.
“There is no doubt that she knows she is the queen. She walks with a certain air of confidence and (the attention) is something that she has learnt to cope with,” said Bowman ahead of the $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
“She is really strong and in good shape for Saturday.
“It gets easier as the preparation gets on because the fitter she gets the stronger she becomes and the more agile she feels. I’ve got a very good understanding of the horse and we’re very comfortable together.”
Hugh Bowman and Chris Waller chat after Winx's Thurday gallop
Winx, of course, comes off a seven length romp in the George Ryder Stakes, against a field which included subsequent TJ Smith winner Chautauqua, but what is it that makes her so good?
“It’s hard to explain but her centre of gravity doesn’t change at all when she moves,” described Bowman.
“She doesn’t look like a big horse but when you sit on her she is quite long. There is a good bit of muscle there but she is quite agile too. It’s her centre of gravity and her balance. She is a very well balanced horse.”
A crowd of 25,000 is expected to descend on Randwick and although Bowman and his star mare are well accustomed to the hullabaloo, he certainly takes nothing for granted.
“When we go out to the track and we’re clapped onto the course, that for me is very special and it really hits home when you see all the young kids lining the fence to see a champion. She is doing great things for our sport and is special to a lot of people,” said Bowman.
A relaxed Winx takes a moment to admire the Rosehill sunrise
“When I get on her in the enclosure the crowd is buzzing and are anxious too to see what is going to happen but when I go out onto the track and canter off to the gates all those emotions disappear and I mean that, they just sort of go to the side, and it’s just me and Winx.
“I don’t go too fast to the barriers, I just try to keep her relaxed and happy. She knows what she is there for. At the end of the day, the horse gives me a lot of confidence which ultimately keeps me relaxed.
“It’s been a great ride for all of us and we hope it continues.”