True superstars don’t come along very often in horse racing, but there can be little doubt the wonder mare Winx has earned her superstar status after compiling a record-breaking run of 29 consecutive wins. It’s a run that stated on 15 May 2015, though it’s hard to believe that the Chris Waller’s 7-year-old had actually been beaten in six of her first 10 races.
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockeys: J H Bowman, J McDonald, L. Cassidy, J. Moreira, Jason Collett
Owner: Magic Bloodstock Racing, R G Treweeke & Mrs D N Kepitis
Breeder: Fairway Thoroughbreds
Sire: Street Cry (IRE)
Damn: Vegas Showgirl (NZ)
As a two-year-old, Winx took part in two racecourse trials before making a winning racecourse debut at Warwick Farm Racecourse over 1,100 metres. She raced once more as a two-year-old, winning at Rosehill Racecourse over 1,400 metres.
Winx started her three-year-old season with a win in the Group 2 Furios Stakes, but then endured a run of four defeats. She got back on the winning trail in March when beating the boys in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes. However, she then suffered two more defeats in the Vinery Stud Stakes and the Australian Oaks.
After six defeats in seven races, connections decided to drop her in class to build up her confidence, and she duly obliged with a win in the Group 3 Sunshine Stakes. She looked in an impossible position that day with 600 metres to go but, having been pulled to the outside, she showed a breath-taking turn of foot to win going away. That win was the first of her record-breaking run. She raced once more as a three-year-old, winning the Queensland Oaks.
Winx started her four-year-old season by winning the Theo Marks Stakes under James McDonald, after which Hugh Bowman took over the reins on a full-time basis. She then won the Epsom Handicap, before winning her first Cox Plate. She then returned from a break to win the Apollo Stakes, Chipping Norton Stakes, George Ryder Stakes, and Doncaster Mile. She ended the season rated 126, and was voted the Champion Racehorse of the Year in Australia for 2015/16.
Winx seemed to improve again from four to five, winning the Warwick Stakes, before taking her career earnings past the $7 Million barrier with victory in the George Main Stakes. Next on her agenda was the Caulfield Stakes, before she defended her crown with a second win in the Cox Plate.
By this time, she was rated 133, and returned from another break to win a second Apollo Stakes, the Chipping Norton Stakes, the George Ryder Stakes, and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes by a stunning five and a quarter lengths. Winx was again voted Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year.
The Warwick Stakes was again the first race on Winx’s agenda, though it was the first time the race was a Group 1. She then followed up in the George Main Stakes, before gaining an unprecedented hat-trick of wins in the Cox Plate. It was a win that saw her top the list of all-time money earners in Australian Racing, breaking the previous record set by Black Caviar. She then side-stepped an intended repeat win in the Apollo Stakes as Hugh Bowman was suspended, but made no mistake reunited with Bowman in the Chipping Norton Stakes.
A third win in the George Ryder Stakes followed, after which connections considered running her in England at Royal Ascot. However, after deciding they had nothing to prove, she instead won a second Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Winx ended the season as the world’s top-rated horse on a mark of 130, and was also voted Australian Racehorse of the Year for a third consecutive season.
Not many top-class horses have raced as seven-year-olds, especially not mares, but Winx returned as a seven-year-old just as good as ever. She started the season by winning the Winx Stakes, a race that was formerly the Warwick Stakes. She then completed a hat-trick of wins in the George Main Stakes, before a win in the Turnbull Stakes. Winx then won her fourth Cox Plate, extending her winning run to 29 and counting.