Hugh Bowman and Winx win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Hugh Bowman and Winx win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Cox Plate might drop curtain on Winx story

MOONEE Valley and the 2018 Cox Plate loom as a two-pronged day of destiny for Winx - history and possible retirement - after the wonder mare soared even higher into racing's stratosphere at Randwick.

Unbeaten in 25 starts with victory in the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes, matching the deeds of unbeaten Black Caviar, Winx will be set for a record fourth Cox Plate on October 27.

Now the winner of 29 of 34 starts, $18,988,430 in prizemoney and owner of a world record 18 Group 1 triumphs, Winx will be spelled in preparation for Melbourne's spring.

Trainer Chris Waller, who wept inconsolably post-race, said planning would immediately be discussed for the Cox Plate.

"We'll have thoughts on our minds from tonight. We'll start to work the time off she's had and how long she needs to be in to prepare," he said.

Moonee Valley Racing Club chief executive Michael Browell said the club would prepare for Winx's return to a track where she has already twice smashed the 2040m record - and broken rival's hearts.

"We are preparing for her to be there and expecting unprecedented demand for ticketing and hospitality when we go on sale on May 21," he said.

"Words can't describe what she has achieved to date and how she has captured the heart of the nation. If she was to win a fourth W.S. Cox Plate she would stand alone as the greatest we have seen."

Winx's star power saw Moonee Valley sold out last spring.

If Winx was to snap her tie with triple winner Kingston Town as the most successful Cox Plate horses in history, there would a temptation to end her career on the highest note.

She will be seven in August.

Doesn’t get much better than this: Hugh Bowman and Winx. Picture: Getty Images
Doesn’t get much better than this: Hugh Bowman and Winx. Picture: Getty Images

Waller, who also trained the winners of AJC Oaks and Sydney Cup, said Winx was capable of even more.

"You can only get the best out of her when she's running against the best," he said. "It's been a learning curve. We're at a stage now we are used to this constant pressure which is pretty intense."

Bowman was jubilant after notching his 24th win on the world's best turf horse.

"She's just an exceptional athlete, she creates so much attention, I'm just so elated, I'm so proud of her and I'm just so proud to be a part of it," he said. "What can I say, I'm lost for words."

He said equalling Black Caviar's record was unimaginable.

"You don't imagine that, you don't dare to dream that big, she's just continued to blossom under Chris Waller's management and his team," Bowman said.

"I know I've got the engine to round them up, but I can't do it on my own ... the bottom line is she's got 10-12l on her rivals, it makes it easy for me."

A huge crowd flocked to Randwick to pay homage to an equine superstar, with admirers - young and old - clad in Winx's blue and white colours.

A TAB punter made $22,410 after placing a whopping $124,500 on Winx to win at $1.18, making it the largest bet ever placed on the champion.

 


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