Winx Ends Career Winning Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Because She Is Our Queen
She won. Of course she won. Was Winx ever going to let down a record crowd on a perfect Sydney day?
Winx has won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick in Sydney, and a wonderful chapter of Australian sporting history is now behind us.
It was never in doubt.
Winx started from the widest barrier, which was a bit of a worry from the 2000m start, as Hugh Bowman was always in danger of being trapped wide.
Danger? What danger?
Bowman showed why he’s the best jockey in the world, settling the best horse in the world in a perfect position, midfield and only one horse off the fence.
From there, the thing we’ve seen 32 times in a row was always going to happen a 33rd time. Winx made her run before the turn, was the widest runner turning for home, and cruised down the straight without fear of being seriously challenged.
Kluger finished two lengths away in second place, and Winx’s old foe Hartnell bid farewell to his nemesis with another brave third.
With her victory today:
- Winx retires with 33 straight wins going back to May 2015.
- She has accrued a record $26,336,675 in prize money across her career.
- She retires with a world record 25 Group One wins. (Group One races are the international standard for the highest level of racing.)
- She finishes her career with 37 wins and three minor placings from 43 starts.
- The great mare's 33-race winning streak to end her career is now an immortal Australian sporting number, like Bradman's batting average of 99.94.
But today is not about numbers. It's about emotions. It's about saluting a champion who has captured the hearts of racegoers everywhere.
"It's over isn't it," Bowman said after the race.
"I mean, very mixed [emotions], so proud to be a part of it. It's been very real for me all day, the amount of people here it's just amazing and everyone watching around the world --America, Europe, Africa, all over Australia.
"This horse has captured the hearts of a lot of people around the globe and there's nothing really more for me to say. She just showed you what she's capable of."
Fittingly, Winx gave her final lap of honour to Tina Turner's Simply The Best in front of a sold-out Randwick crowd.
Thus ends an incredible chapter in Australian sporting history. Is Winx our greatest galloper ever? Almost certainly yes, but it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that in a sport which is often tainted by the misdeeds of a few -- how’re you going these days, Darren Weir? -- Winx has given us a good news story that has lasted four years.
The horse’s incredible, unmatched performance is a credit to her jockey Hugh Bowman and above all, trainer Chris Waller, who has conducted himself with grace and dignity throughout. Quite frankly, without him, none of this would have been possible.
Now your correspondent is off to the bar.