Thoroughbred Daily News
Awesome Again - Tizso, by Cee's Tizzy - WinStar Farm
WinStar Farm - Versailles, KY | 2009 | Entered Stud 2014 | 2019 Fee $12,500

Winx Set To Sign Off In Front Of Global Audience

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Winx winning her second Queen Elizabeth in 2018 | Bronwen Healy

By Alan Carasso

A career that began innocently enough with a midweek maiden victory at Sydney’s Warwick Farm June 4, 2014, comes to an emotional and highly anticipated climax in the early morning hours (US Eastern time) Saturday when Winx (Aus) (Street Cry {Ire})–in all probability–looks through a starting gate for the final time in the A$4-million (US$2.87 million) G1 Longines Queen Elizabeth S. She will be looking to win Australia’s richest weight-for-age test for the third year in a row and to win a race at The Championships–Sydney’s autumn carnival–for the fourth consecutive season, having defeated Happy Clapper (Aus) (Teofilo {Ire}) in the G1 Doncaster Mile in 2016.

Camapaigned by Peter Tighe’s Magic Bloodstock Racing in partnership with Richard Treweeke and Debbie Kepitis and meticulously managed throughout her career by trainer Chris Waller, Winx, bred by John Camilleri’s Fairway Thoroughbreds, was runner-up in the G1 ATC Oaks (2400m) precisely four years and two days ago and she has not lost since. In the span of the last 48 months, Winx has won 32 consecutive races, at distances ranging from 1300 meters (G2 Theo Marks S. in 2015) up to the metric mile and a quarter, including a record 24 races at Group 1 level. Nine of her victories have come over the 2000 meters, including an unprecedented four consecutive scores in Australia’s springtime weight-for-age championship, the G1 W S Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in Melbourne.

But it is Sydney that is home for Winx. Some 27 of her 36 career tallies have come at the metropolitan tracks, including 19 at Royal Randwick, which will be bursting at the seams Saturday afternoon when the Queen Elizabeth field is loaded just after 4 p.m. local time. A 20th Randwick score will take Winx’s career earnings to A$26.3 million, an amount well north of US$19 million. She cost connections A$230,000 at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. Hugh Bowman has been aboard Winx 30 times during her current winning streak and in 32 of her career starts, though he was aboard for one of Winx’s rare defeats, a runner-up effort to the classy First Seal (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) in the G1 Coolmore Flight S. at Randwick in October 2014.

Though she will be something around 1-10 favorite to give the racing public the fairy-tale farewell they are yearning for, the Queen Elizabeth should test her as much as she has been tested in recent memory. The competition includes Godolphin’s Hartnell (GB) (Authorized {Ire}), second to Winx in the 2017 Queen Elizabeth and behind the great mare on six other occasions, including a runner-up effort the 2016 Cox Plate.

The hard-knocking Happy Clapper has run into Winx no fewer than 10 times in his 40-race career, having finished third to her in last year’s Queen Elizabeth a week after taking out the Doncaster. He was second to Winx when she won her Doncaster in 2016.

“It’s always been a ‘necessary’ and a ‘have to’, rather than a ‘want to’,” Happy Clapper’s somewhat exasperated trainer Pat Webster told RacingNSW.com.au. “Because I tell you there are times I haven’t wanted to. I’ve had to run against her to get to the races I wanted to. I can’t go around in benchmark [handicap] races, so I have to run in the lead up races at weight-for-age. It’s amazing how many people come up to me and say ‘I hope you beat her,’ but it’s not the Australian way.”

Fans from every corner of the globe will be glued to Saturday’s final day of The Championships, which also features the G1 Australian Oaks (2400m), the G1 Sydney Cup (3200m) and the G1 Coolmore Legacy S. (1600m). TVG’s Candice Hare will be trackside with live coverage alongside Sky Racing World’s Jason Witham. Live streaming and wagering is available on all major US-based ADW platforms.

 

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