Watch: Winx Wins Turnbull Stakes At Flemington But Wow, We All Got A Huge Fright
Winx has won the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington because of course she did. But whoa. That was scary.
This was not the usual Winx win. Normally, jockey Hugh Bowman has her running on the outside of the field so she can't be blocked in.
But today, the official world's best horse settled towards the rear of the field, boxed in against the fence. Could she get out? Would she get out?
Of course she would. Because she is Winx.
It was a nervous thing, though, for viewers and jockey alike.
For much of the 2000m race, it seemed like Winx would never see clear running. There were just too many other horses in front of her. But Bowman found a way through and when it counted, Winx found a gear which mere mortal horses simply do not possess.
"Isn't she amazing? Usually I ride her arrogantly but I didn't have that option today," Bowman said.
"I really didn't want to be there [on the fence] but I didn't have much choice.
"That's why she's so good, she overcomes everything."
The one-length victory in the Turnbull is the champion mare's:
- 2nd straight victory in this race,
- 28th consecutive win, and;
- 21st triumph at racing's elite Group 1 level since the incredible streak which began on the first of May 2015.
Winx is a seven-year-old these days, an age at which some horses begin to slow down. So far, Winx shows no sign of that.
She now guns for an unprecedented fourth straight Cox Plate at Melbourne's Moonee Valley racecourse on October 27.
The Cox Plate is regarded by racing purists as Australia's great race, ahead of the Melbourne Cup. That's because the Melbourne Cup is held over the marathon distance of 3200m, whereas the Cox Plate is held over a middle distance of 2040m -- a distance suitable for a larger variety of horses.
"She does us proud each and every time," trainer Chris Waller said.
She does the rest of Australia proud too.
But perhaps the proudest person on Flemington Racecourse today was Debbie Kepitis, the part-owner who helped buy Winx as a yearling for $230,000 partly because she sensed the young horse had "strength".
She's got that, all right. And more.
"Even when you think she's not going to be able to do it she pulls it out," Kepitis said, before giving all credit to the trainer and jockey.
"It's not easy to do this, to bring her back all the time and have her racing at this level. It's just phenomenal, it's wonderful."
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