By Ray Hickson
Phar Lap. Black Caviar. Winx.
No, it’s not a comparison but trainer Chris Waller drawing the dots between some of Australia’s thoroughbred greats and coming to terms with what it means to have Winx in his life.
Shortly after the champion extended her winning streak to 20 – and how is anything going to beat her? – Waller said he’s in unchartered territory as a trainer.
“I can’t get hold of Harry Telford (Phar Lap’s trainer), Peter Moody (Black Caviar) I can and he just says what they do is just amazing,’’ Waller said.
“The beauty of a horse like Winx is I don’t have experience with these types of horses.
“I think we’ve got to enjoy it, not analyze it too much. We’ve got to try and enjoy the moment. It’s very special.’’
While we’re talking about great racehorses and legendary trainers, Waller almost had a ‘Kingston Town can’t win’ moment with Winx midway through the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
And like the King in 1982 she did win and has taken her Group 1 tally to 13 and her prizemoney to almost $13.5 million.
Winx makes it 20 straight in the George Main Stakes at Randwick
Winx has had a couple of great escapes among her first two starts this spring but many at Randwick thought, when she was under hard riding before the turn, the streak was about to be broken.
But Waller kept his cool.
“I’m not too worried about how she was travelling in the race,’’ he said.
“True champions they normally come out and win. They get beat too. We have to respect that and they can bounce back as well.
“She is on track for some big races this preparation. It’s great Sydney have embraced her.”
Waller will let the dust settle before confirming where Winx’s next run will be but he’s keen to give her one more run in Sydney before she races for history and a third straight Cox Plate in Melbourne next month.
It’s widely expected that race will be the Group 3 $500,000 Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick on Everest Day, October 14.
Part-owner Peter Tighe admitted to briefly considering that Winx could get beaten in the George Main when jockey Hugh Bowman was hard at her 600m out.
But he was humbled as she swept past Happy Clapper for another seemingly effortless win.
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) September 16, 2017
“I think she could be anything she wants to be, the world is her oyster that’s for sure,’’ Tighe said.
“She turns a bad run into a good run very quickly and puts good horses away.
“It’s just an honour (to own her), you can’t dream of things like this. It’s just a great ride for everyone.’’
Bowman said the experience of her wins in the Warwick and Chelmsford gave him the confidence Winx could overcome adversity once again.
He’s also running out of superlatives.
“It all means a great deal, my kids are quite young so they are not quite aware of the enormity of the situation but in years to come they will certainly come to understand what Winx has done for our lives,” he said.
“Growing up on the farm in Dunedoo, dreaming of being a jockey, dreaming of riding a champion and those dreams are being met in the form of Winx and like I said I am so proud and honoured.”