Racing in review - The Championships Day 2: Winx says farewell in style
In the end, it was a little harder than most of us thought but ultimately Winx did what she does best – win!
The champion mare took out her third Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes which was her 33rd straight, and final, win as she bowed out of racing in style. Randwick was at capacity to farewell her and we even saw people lined up on Alison Road outside the fence to catch a glimpse at one of the all-time greats.
Winx dropped back to a midfield role which put her closer to the action than usual before Hugh Bowman started edging towards the leaders on the turn. On straightening, the pair were in front but Japanese visitor Kluger kept flashing home along the rails to finish just 1.5 lengths from her at the finish, with old warhorse Hartnell in third.
Chris Waller’s wonder mare retires with a record of 37 wins and three seconds from 43 starts for earnings of nearly $26.5million. Among her achievements is a world record 25 Group One wins, four Cox Plates, George Ryders and Chipping Nortons.
She broke records all over the place yesterday including selling out Randwick, attracting TAB’s biggest ever Fixed Odds bet ($550,000 @ $1.06) and establishing a new record hold on a race of over $3.9million which surpassed her previous mark of $3.1million on last year’s Cox Plate.
The daughter of Street Cry’s win was the middle peg of a Group One treble for Chris Waller as he dominated Day 2 of The Championships.
It started with him taking out the Australian Oaks with Verry Elleegant before Winx provided him with the 100th Group One win of his career, of which she is responsible for a quarter of those. The Rosehill mentor then rounded out the day with a victory in the Schweppes Sydney Cup when Shraaoh held off Vengeur Masque, giving Jay Ford his first Group One success since Monaco Consul took out the Spring Champion Stakes in 2009.
Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace stopped it from being a complete whitewash for Waller of the Group Ones when their talented mare Kenedna burst through the pack to win an exciting edition of the Coolmore Legacy Stakes (1600 metres).
Hitting the front in the shadows of the post, Kenedna beat home a gallant Dixie Blossoms and Waller’s Unforgotten in a stirring finish with roughie Miss Siska close up in fourth.
Outside of the four big ones on the day, there were plenty of highlights but there is no doubt we have seen an absolute star in the shape of Classique Legend. The Les Bridge runner sat wide once again like he did last time out, but Kerrin McEvoy was far more patient this time around as the pair booted clear in the straight to take out the Group Two Arrowfield Sprint. It was just his fourth race start since commencing his career in mid-February. The talk is that he is heading off to Hong Kong which is where his owner is based, however, is he too good for Hong Kong? We’d like to think so and if he stayed on our shores you can be assured he is going to be one of the major players in Group One sprints for the next few years.
Anaheed gave Team Snowden a much-needed boost in the Percy Sykes Stakes as the stable hasn’t been as formidable as we know they can be. Tim Clark got everything out of the talented filly as she held off Godolphin’s Flit in a great finish. Strangely, James Cummings and the Blue Army were winless on Day 2. Other winners on the day were Power Scheme, Fasika, Bobbing and White Moss.
RIDE OF THE DAY: Kathy O’Hara on White Moss. Stalked the runaway leader Quilista in the final event and then hit the front shortly after straightening. Bossed her rivals down the running with a perfectly judged ride.
FLOP OF THE DAY: Kiamichi. The Golden Slipper winner compounded badly in the Percy Sykes to indicate that she has had enough this campaign.