WINX, the world’s equal best racehorse demolished her George Ryder Stakes rivals on Saturday to record a stunning 32nd straight win and 24th group 1 success, Australian Turf Club officials now preparing for a heaving Randwick in her farewell at Randwick next month.
But a clash with star stablemate The Autumn Sun appears next to no chance after the colt scraped home in the Rosehill Guineas just 40 minutes earlier on Golden Slipper day, perhaps the last time he is seen on a racetrack.
Racegoers had hoped Australia’s best three-year-old colt would progress to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and a clash with Winx, but trainer Chris Waller hosed down that possibility on a red letter day for the country’s leading group 1 trainer.
“The best two teams can’t always meet in the grand final,” Waller said. “You can see the difference between the two of them when you see them on the same day. She’s fully mature and he is not.”
Waller remains in no doubt The Autumn Sun’s best days are still ahead of him despite chalking up a fifth group 1 win, but a decision on his immediate future is set to be made in coming days. And the possibility he will retire before Winx is one item to be discussed.
Such is her dominance, there remains a huge question mark over who will actually turn up to take on Winx in the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes after she buried a field of George Ryder hopefuls, starting at the shortest price of her career.
So arrogant has Winx been in trampling opposition in her final campaign it has begged the question why connections wouldn’t forge on to tackle a fifth Cox Plate?
But when asked if he would forgive himself if Winx’s four-year winning sequence was to be broken during the spring, Waller said: “Never. As you know in racing it can happen. She’s at her best and she’s going to retire at her best. I think it’s the best way to go out.
“I’m sure she’s know what’s going on. Just a marvellous horse to work with and we owe it to her to be in this position.”
Hugh Bowman sat so, so arrogantly abreast of the George Ryder field he could have won by a far greater margin than the three-and-a-half lengths she had to spare from Brutal, one of seven horses which took on Winx for the first time.
“Although it’s a beautiful afternoon, the ground is significantly testing, and it was quite similar to how it was two years ago when she annihilated Le Romain,” Bowman said. “Because she works on the track she is very comfortable and has a lot of confidence on it. I think that helps her to perform.
The TAB reported its biggest ever bet on Winx with one punter placing $345,000 on the mare at $1.05 just seconds before the barriers opened for the George Ryder to turn a profit of $17,250. It followed an earlier bet of $230,000 at $1.06.
-from Sydney Morning Herald.