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Last Word Always Left To Winx

By Brad Gray
At Rosehill Gardens

A mark of greatness for any athlete at the top of their respected profession is often when all that is left to be said, is done so in the arena. Such is the repetitive dominance of Winx that the media have just about run out of questions to ask Chris Waller.

On Thursday morning Winx put the final touches on her tilt at a third straight $1m Group One The Agency George Ryder Stakes (1500m). Her signature sound was there again as she rushed past the Rosehill winning post in a “powerful” piece of work.

The rising seven-year-old was her normal self after the gallop, recovering almost instantly after pulling up. She was as alert as ever, checking out the scrum of cameras fawning over her condition while her strappers Umit and Candice paraded her around the mounting yard.

“It was wet but didn’t feel heavy, not on her anyways,” Hugh Bowman said of the track upon dismounting.

The versatility of Winx is what makes her a champion. Any track surface, any distance, she finds a way to win. As Waller said himself, there are simply no chinks in her armour.

“That’s the beauty of Winx, she is very adaptable to all conditions. We’ve seen her run on lightning fast tracks, in heat waves and the heaviest of tracks,” he said.

“We’ve got a great horse that gets herself out of most situations. She can be a few tries down with four minutes to go and still get up.

“What Winx is got is something you can’t really see in a horse. Sure she moves well and is the perfect athlete in or eyes... she he is a very special horse.”

Waller confirmed that Winx will next head to the $2m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day 2 of The Championships before likely heading overseas.

Winx is he perfect athlete according to Waller (Pic: Steve Hart)

“We’d love to take her on tour and show off how good she is, how good Australian racing is, and that it’s not just ratings putting her up on top of the world,” Waller said.

"We’re aware of everything but the horse comes first and after Saturday we’ll sit down and put everything on the table."

A win on the weekend would see Winx claim the outright world record for the most Group One wins, overtaking US champion John Henry, who won 16, the last of them in 1984. It would also be victory 24 in the winning streak, one shy of Black Caviar’s unbeaten run.

Winx will have five rivals on Saturday, with Happy Clapper lining up for a seventh crack at the star mare while Kementari is “the new kid on the block” according to Waller.

“He has been very impressive in his runs this preparation. It’s good to see form horses taking her on Saturday,” he said.

Bowman will again be the man charged with steering the daughter of Street Cry, having recovered from his fall on Performer, and echoed Waller’s thoughts around the intrigue Kementari adds to the field.

“It’s going to be interesting to see Kementari line up against this field. It will give us a good line on the quality of the three-year-olds and he is the benchmark up to the mile,” said Bowman.

Bowman, who rated the track on the worst side of soft after working Winx on the Rosehill course proper, added that Winx seems to thrive on her home track.

Winx has only raced on six occasions at Rosehill over her 33 start career, suffering one defeat, running fifth behind Fenway in the Vinery Stud Stakes.

“She does love it here at Rosehill,” Bowman said. “It’s her home track and she doesn’t get to race here too often. I didn’t think it so much when she won her first Geroge Ryder but I certainly felt she was enjoying being on her home track last year, and it was one of her best performances in my opinion.”

“They are all pretty good but I thought it was right up there with the top two or three and judging on the way she is going at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her emulate that on the weekend.”

One TAB punter has already plonked $114,000 on Winx to win the George Ryder Stakes at $1.10 which surpasses the previous biggest bet TAB have taken on the mare which was $108,000 at $1.06 in this year’s Chipping Norton Stakes.

Check out the fields, form and replays for Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Garden

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