She won again, but is Winx ok?

Tristan Rayner Editor

By Tristan Rayner, Tristan Rayner is a Roar Editor

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    Will Winx secure her third Cox Plate in a row? (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

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    Winx won her 19th consecutive race, taking out the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in yet another come from behind victory, leaving it very late again. She’s being asked for supreme efforts, and it’s a worry.

    Her performance was enough to win, working home brilliantly again over the final 800m to run down eight-year-old gelding Red Excitement.

    The exciting thing is that we’re getting to see Winx taken on by her rivals. Black Caviar had the mighty Hay List serve it up to her, but she was rarely given a hard time. Winx is being given a hard time, and fair enough!

    Josh Parr on Red Excitement gave the old boy one of the best rides we’ll see. At the same time, Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman let it happen. Bowman is arguably Australia’s best rider, but not an imperfect one. He lost touch, sitting behind Sense Of Occasion.

    The problem is Red Excitement either lifted far beyond his best ever performance, probably when he won the Group 3 Summer Stakes over 2000m, or Winx is now beatable.

    I’m not on the fence about her performances, but I’m just a bit worried for her. Suddenly the great mare looks vulnerable.

    She’s run in two odd races now – missing the start famously in the Warwick Stakes to amazingly get home. She reared and missed the start. Bowman was nearly thrown off. She was first-up, not nearly at her best. And she ran down a quality field coming home with the breeze to scorch the track for her fans.

    Cam Rose’s piece on what it was like to be in a throng of punters cheering her on gave me goosebumps. It was a gut-buster!

    The Chelmsford was different. Another great win The clock said she ran her last 600m in 33.1 seconds, some 0.85 seconds or around 4.5 lengths superior to Antonio Giuseppe, the speediest finisher of her 11 rivals. Her last 200m was in 10.8s. That’s flying, and still not at her peak, nor her grand final and she wasn’t even pushed out to the line once she scooped up Red Excitement.

    Bowman, after the race, said he was worried this time around.

    “At the top of the straight I wasn’t worried last start but today I really was. What she did today was incredible, I mean everything she does in incredible, but I’m lost for words.”

    Trainer Chris Waller said he’s looking to now skip a race as they head towards a third Cox Plate in-a-row, although she should line up in the George Main.

    “They turned the race on, tried to break us up,” Waller said.

    “It’s never what you like to see when you’ve got a horse like her chasing like that but fair play to them, [Red Excitement] did run second and not fall out and run last.

    “It just proves she’s at her best and pretty hard to beat.

    “We’ll go to the George Main now and then reassess. I want to skip a race somewhere.”

    We’re very fortunate to be seeing Winx at her prime. After the George Main and hopefully her 20th straight win, she’ll be rock hard fit heading to the Cox Plate. It’s great for racing – let’s just hope she hasn’t gone too hard, too early in her prep.

    Tristan Rayner
    Tristan Rayner

    Tristan is a writer, consultant, racing enthusiast and former Editor of The Roar who has turned the Melbourne Cup into a year-round study via racingtalk.com.au.

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    The Crowd Says (38)

    • September 3rd 2017 @ 7:00am
      Kurt said | September 3rd 2017 @ 7:00am | ! Report

      What i find amazing is, the whip wasnt even shown and she was getting those speeds

    • September 3rd 2017 @ 7:15am
      alex said | September 3rd 2017 @ 7:15am | ! Report

      Great win. Best horse Australia has ever seen.

      • September 3rd 2017 @ 9:47pm
        Scuba said | September 3rd 2017 @ 9:47pm | ! Report

        Wrong

        • Roar Guru

          September 3rd 2017 @ 10:08pm
          kv joef said | September 3rd 2017 @ 10:08pm | ! Report

          no, i’m pretty sure alex is right.

    • Roar Guru

      September 3rd 2017 @ 10:11am
      Nathan Absalom said | September 3rd 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

      I thought she was quite vulnerable yesterday and actually bet against her rather than leaving the race alone as I normally do. She ran a huge race first up and was asked to do a lot more than the connections wanted, and she’d hardly be the first horse to be flat after a big first up performance. I was surprised that no-one with a good 3yo didn’t send them round to do what Red Excitement did yesterday, they would have had a great chance to beat her with no weight on their back.

      I mean, I get that trainers don’t want to take her on but I do think that quite a few connections might regret not having a crack at her yesterday when she was as beatable as she has been for quite a while. Kudos to Ryan and Parr for having a go yesterday.

      • September 3rd 2017 @ 11:16am
        TonyR said | September 3rd 2017 @ 11:16am | ! Report

        Sorry Nathan but I think you are quite wrong about her being vulnerable. You say getting a good three year old to have a go at her, but I doubt any three year old this season, or before for that matter, could do those sectionals that she did. She is breaking there hearts out there and will do for some time yet!

      • September 3rd 2017 @ 11:20am
        Bill said | September 3rd 2017 @ 11:20am | ! Report

        How are the weights 3yr old colt vs mare? Could someone try do that in the cox plate? With the short straight and less luck getting out she could be in trouble running that race again

        • Roar Guru

          September 3rd 2017 @ 12:11pm
          Nathan Absalom said | September 3rd 2017 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

          50kg for the 3yo against 57kg for the mare (48 for a filly). Vadamos tried to pinch a break last year in the Cox Plate but she absolutely belted them. I doubt that on Cox Plate day where she’ll be at her peak that she’ll be vulnerable to those sort of tactics, in my opinion.

          • September 3rd 2017 @ 2:57pm
            Bill said | September 3rd 2017 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

            Probably a good point. But they’ve got to be trying to beat her this year, not run their own races and hope.

      • Roar Guru

        September 3rd 2017 @ 10:23pm
        kv joef said | September 3rd 2017 @ 10:23pm | ! Report

        She ran a 94.5s mile with a 44s last 800m being sooled along hands and heels … nothing ‘flat’ about that.

    • September 3rd 2017 @ 10:38am
      Razzar said | September 3rd 2017 @ 10:38am | ! Report

      Winx’s usual M.O. Is to win by lengths, easing down. Though magnificent wins, hard chasing victories could take there toll….Waller’s thought of skipping a race appears wise. Still many weeks before her Grand Final.

      • September 3rd 2017 @ 11:05am
        Aransan said | September 3rd 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

        Agree totally.

    • September 3rd 2017 @ 11:18am
      Ken said | September 3rd 2017 @ 11:18am | ! Report

      Did this second up after a gut-buster win first-up.
      Had no right to win on the turn, or even at the 200.
      Seen nothing like her in 50 years of following races.

      • September 3rd 2017 @ 12:18pm
        Kurt said | September 3rd 2017 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

        Not since kingston i reckon

      • September 3rd 2017 @ 7:15pm
        TC123 said | September 3rd 2017 @ 7:15pm | ! Report

        A mile second up after a tough run. Maybe a bit unfair on her by connections and a few critics in my opinion. They’re not machines but she’s probably the closest horse to one that I’ve seen.

      • September 3rd 2017 @ 9:48pm
        Scuba said | September 3rd 2017 @ 9:48pm | ! Report

        Probably not since that undefeated horse a few years ago. What was her name again?

        • September 3rd 2017 @ 10:38pm
          TC123 said | September 3rd 2017 @ 10:38pm | ! Report

          Comparing an unbeaten sprinter that had arguably two or three top class rivals to a horse that can win at any distance against numerous world class horses would suggest you are another that was caught up in the Black Caviar hype. Winx is twice the horse

          • September 4th 2017 @ 7:06am
            Blake said | September 4th 2017 @ 7:06am | ! Report

            That’s funny.

            Any good colt like, say, Pierro would have beaten Winx both starts this prep.

            Get a grip people.

            • September 4th 2017 @ 5:37pm
              TC123 said | September 4th 2017 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

              That was a stunning third Pierro ran in the Cox plate. Might be you that needs to get a grip

          • September 4th 2017 @ 11:07pm
            Scuba said | September 4th 2017 @ 11:07pm | ! Report

            Winx is a champion from 1400 to 2000. Black Caviar was a champion from 1000 to 1400. At her only race against decent opposition (or at least, one decent horse) beyond 2040 Winx was trounced.

            An extra furlong isn’t going to win you too many arguments about versatility.

            • September 5th 2017 @ 12:06am
              Aransan said | September 5th 2017 @ 12:06am | ! Report

              Black Caviar only had one run over 1400m and she would have been very beatable at that distance. Vain was a champion juvenile from 5 furlongs to a mile (1000m to 1600m), Black Caviar wouldn’t have got near him over 1400m.

    • September 3rd 2017 @ 12:46pm
      Johnybulldog said | September 3rd 2017 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

      These races are short of her best…just wait till her races get longer….look out…wow!

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