A few anxious moments were put to rest with an electric turn of foot by champion mare Winx (Street Cry) with a scintillating victory in the Group 2 Bob Ingham Warwick Stakes on Saturday.
Just days after being crowned NSW Horse of the Year, a dramatic start to the race saw Winx miss the start by four lengths and rider Hugh Bowman had no option but to settle her at the tail of the field.
Entering the home straight, the Chris Waller trained mare had at least six lengths to make up on the leaders who hadn’t gone overly fast on a Randwick track that was running very quick, making it hard for horses to make up ground all day.
There were still doubts at the 200m mark whether the great mare could pick up the leader which was now her Group 1 winning stablemate Foxplay (Foxwedge).
As only the great horses can do, Winx extended herself fully, showing a great will to win and got to the front in the shadows of the post for one of the most theatrical victories of her esteemed career.
Bowman stayed composed even after his race-plan was thrown out the window at the start.
“I couldn’t take off, I was stuck back there and thinking ‘this isn’t good. I don’t want to be here’ and like I said it was an amazing feeling the last 200 and what can I say – she’s a freak,” Bowman said.
Waller knew he had the right man in the stable after the disastrous starts and was confident in the ability of Winx to pick herself up and find the finishing line.
“Hugh never panicked. When you put the reins in his hands you know you’ve got the right man aboard. He realised he had to make up a bit of ground and used the full length of the straight to do it.
“She gave them a fair head start and it’s very special to know you’ve got a horse that everybody appreciates so much.
“Thank God she got the job done.”
Raced by Peter Tighe’s Magic Bloodstock, Debbie Kepitis and Richard Treweeke, Winx took her earnings past $13,000,000 with Saturday’s victory, her 18th in succession and 22 in total.
Selected by Mulcaster Bloodstock for purchaser Magic Bloodstock, Winx was bought for $230,000 from Coolmore at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. She was bred by John Camilleri’s Fairway Thoroughbreds.
Runner-up Foxplay was also selected by Mulcaster Bloodstock, this time for Star Thoroughbreds. She was also purchased at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. The daughter of Foxwedge was bred by SF Bloodstock and sold by Newgate Farm.
The Group 2 quinella capped a good seven days for Mulcaster Bloodstock selected horses with the highly-touted Merovee (Frankel) breaking his maiden at this second start on Wednesday, following a City double at Flemington last Saturday with Alward (Aqlaam) and Wayanka (Encosta de Lago) both saluting in impressive fashion.