Winx wins Warwick Stakes on Randwick return

No doubt: Jockey Hugh Bowman rides Winx to win the Warwick Stakes at Royal Randwick. Photo: bradleyphotos南京夜网419论坛 A surprise performer: Winx ran 32.89 seconds home for her final 600m. Photo: bradleyphotos南京夜网419论坛
Nanjing Night Net

There wasn’t a moment of doubt with Winx in the Warwick Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

Ridden with confidence by Hugh Bowman, she sat to the outside of Rebel Dane in total control of the group 2, waiting for the jockey’s signal to act.

At the 300 metre mark, Rebel Dane was flat out, as were the group of stayers behind her. Winx was still on the bridle.

She eased to the front and Bowman moved to give her more rein at the 200m mark and she put 3½ lengths on her rivals, Hartnell running into second and Rebel Dane holding on another three-quarters of a length back.

“I don’t think even you know how good she is,” Rebel Dane’s trainer Gary Portelli said to Chris Waller. “We let him go and quicken as good as I thought we could and she was still jogging. That was amazing.”

Hartnell’s trainer John O’Shea added: “She a champion. There is no disgrace in what [Hartnell] did.”

The clock matched the praise from rivals as Winx ran 32.89 seconds home for her final 600m.

“Jeez, did she,” Waller said when confronted by the time. “You get to see the best of her on raceday. I had a lot of respect for Rebel Dane. He  is a very good 1400m horse and she was just there and had him covered.”

There was never a doubt on Winx’s quality but now the question will be is she better as a fully mature mare. This was the sort of performance that suggests she is.

It was a Black Caviar-like performance, taking every runner out of their comfort zones, then dragging them along with her.

It was why 9135 punters showed up, 700 arriving in the half hour before Winx’s command performance.

“That is the heats of the Olympics over and done with and we just have the semi-final and final to come,” Waller said.

“You never really know where horses are the way I train. That’s just our system and we take them along quietly and just gradually build.

“Her track work has been great, trials have been adequate and she has been brilliant the last week or so.”

Bowman was again surprised by Winx, who has delivered him his biggest wins in the Cox Plate and Doncaster.

“I don’t think she’s been as quick under me as she was today when I let her go,” Bowman said “I’m starting to get used to her and getting to know her more and more each time.

“Usually there are horses around me and I’ve got something to run down and I’m focusing on her and the horses around me but today, because I had the better of Rebel Dane at the 300m, it was just me and her.

“When she let down, it was a special feeling and I’m looking forward to feeling it again.”

Bowman tried to temper his enthusiasm for Winx because of the small field of mainly stayers.

“It’s hard not to get carried away with this mare, she really is something special,” he said. “It’s just an honour to be on her back.”

Winx will be back at Randwick for the Chelmsford Stakes in two weeks, when the crowd is sure to swell. Hartnell will follow her there, but his aim will be the Metropolitan on the long weekend in October.

“He is back and he loves this track and I can’t wait to get him up to those trips where he is suited,” hoop James McDonald said.

Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Lucia Valentina ran fourth and Kerrin McEVoy gave her a pass mark.

“She got a little bit out-sprinted when Winx went and I just had to help her through that cut-up ground around the corner, but the best part of her race was her last furlong and a half, so that’s a good sign moving forward,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.