Does Winx need to go to Europe?

Pat Hornidge Roar Rookie

By Pat Hornidge, Pat Hornidge is a Roar Rookie

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    In 1890, when Carbine won the Melbourne Cup, it was reported that “Ccheer after cheer rent the air and people went almost frantic in their desire to do honour to the winner…”.

    While on Saturday the atmosphere wasn’t quite that intense, it’s probably as close to that intensity as we’re going to see in modern times. It’s not in doubt that the majority of the crowd at Flemington on Saturday were there to see Winx, and they rose as one as Hugh Bowman pulled Winx to the outside to begin her move around the field. Their cheer lasted the entire length of the Flemington straight.

    From Carbine to Phar Lap and even to Makybe Diva and Black Caviar racehorses have a peculiar effect on the Australian sporting public that few other things do. Australians are divided by their football codes, but during spring they are united in their interest in racing – and racing needs its heroes.

    Watching Winx run is an experience, just like watching Phar Lap would have been. Judging which horse is better is both impossible and pointless, and Winx needs to be enjoyed for what she is – one of the great horses of this generation.

    (Image: AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    Winx was recently rated the second-best horse in the world, behind only the American colt Arrogate, but in front of nab, Europe’s best. She was also recently declared the best horse in Australia. There is talk of taking her over to Europe next year to prove that she is in fact the world’s best racehorse.

    Before that, though, she will head to Moonee Valley and attempt to equal Kingston Town’s feat of three Cox Plate victories in a row. This would put her in a class all of her own in Australian racing – and her record is so far arguably better than Kingston Town.

    After that, what about Europe? Before I saw her race, I was against an overseas excursion. Why must Australian horses, trainers and jockeys continually have to prove themselves in Europe? But after seeing her on Saturday, she has nothing left to prove in this country.

    It was just announced that Enable will race for another season, which would allow two of the best horses in the world to race against each other, and that has to be something that racing fans are allowed to experience. With no other rivals anywhere near her in this country, a race at Ascot will confirm her place in both Australian and international racing history.

    Winx has the ability to interest the public in a way that no other horse currently does. She is central to the success of this Spring Racing Carnival for Melbourne, but without rivals on her level, her place in history will always be questioned.

    Kingston Town remains one of the greats because her rivals were also excellent horses. A Winx victory in England against Europe’s best will ensure that she is always regarded as an all-time great of Australian racing.

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • Roar Guru

      October 11th 2017 @ 9:12am
      kv joef said | October 11th 2017 @ 9:12am | ! Report

      Nice work Pat. Phil Smith, retiring head handicapper of the BHA (Brotosh Racing Authority) gave a very interesting World Ranking to Enable after the Arc. He rated her 128. Why interesting? Phil is implementing a new European WFA scale next year before he retires. His new WFA scale suggests as Enable matures into a 4yrold her ability should develop by at least 4lbs/4pts … 128 + 4 =132. Cheeky pom.

      but to answer, no she doesn’t have to go but from my point of view to see Winx ling up against Enable, Ulysses and no doubt the ace Euro 3years-old of next year in the Juddmonte International (2000m) on a beautiful flat track like York with a 1000m run-in … they will understand what the Winx wobble is!

      PS i ain’t got a prob with Enable’s WR, she is a stunning racehorse. i just got a prob with Winx’s low by 3 pts WR.

    • October 11th 2017 @ 9:45am
      Aransan said | October 11th 2017 @ 9:45am | ! Report

      Will Winx need more racing to reach her peak as a 7y.o.? What would be her best distance in Europe, mile (1609m) or 10 furlongs (2012m) with the different patterns of racing. How about one of the Breeders races in the US?

      • Roar Guru

        October 11th 2017 @ 10:48am
        kv joef said | October 11th 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

        valid queries Aransun but i think Chris Waller is thinking about a campaign.

        I would think both the Queen Anne (1m.) at Ascot is on the agenda and two months later the Juddmonte, with plenty of options for a race in between. I doubt she would meet any heavyweight competition before the Juddmonte.

        i would think she would start her campaign in the Sydney Autumn and take that residual fitness to the training downs of Newmarket befor heading off to Lambourn.

        the QAnne was the race won by Frankel producing a rating of 138, and Goldikova (130) and of course Haradasun

        She has done all thislong campaign stuff before – Autumn campaign in Sydney (2nd Oaks) then to QLD winning her 2 there, the last on May30 … the Queen Anne is run on June 14th …

        She is an undefeated traveler … with a distance range from 1300 to 2200 (and beyond?) … she won’t have any trouble Euro G! pressure … the age thing … she has been virtually untested for 2 years … when it looks like she is in trouble she produces sub 22sec sprints.

        But she is aging and at anytime she may decide she has had enough excitement … she is in the right hands to have the plug pulled at any time.

        PS of yes … and currently she is the best racehorse in the world and one the greatest ever mares to walk onto a racecourse … i hope everything goes swimmingly for Chris Waller and connections so she gets an undisputed shot.

        • October 11th 2017 @ 4:14pm
          Haradasun said | October 11th 2017 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

          Some champion horses have won the queen Anne, would be good to see Winx match those luminaries of the track!

    • Roar Pro

      October 11th 2017 @ 10:58am
      Davico said | October 11th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

      I just don’t get all the “She has to prove herself in Europe stuff!”

      Why don’t they send Enable or one of the others down here to run against her in the Cox Plate or Queen Elizabeth?

      • October 11th 2017 @ 12:05pm
        Aransan said | October 11th 2017 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

        She doesn’t need to prove herself to Australians, we know how good she is. I think it will be unlikely for the best European horses to compete in our best races, although the prize money is huge they don’t have the status of a number of international races. Winx beating the best in Europe might help to change that.

      • October 11th 2017 @ 1:20pm
        johnny nevin is a legend said | October 11th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

        The Cox Plate clashes with big end of season European races like the Arc & Champion Stakes, the Queen Elizabeth clashes with Dubai World Cup. European trainers have sent over high calibre horses such as Highland Reel & Grandera to Cox Plate but top 2400m horse like Enable always probable to be aimed a Arc. Winx does not have to prove herself against Europeans. Even though she is beating inferior horses than in European G1’s the criteria for rating horses such as sectionals would suggest she is a better horse than Enable. However there is prestige at Royal Ascot and the Juddmonte International has been one of the highest rated races in the world in recent years. If she comes over she will meet better horses than the majority of her Oz G1’s, even if the clash with Enable does not happen.

    • October 11th 2017 @ 12:49pm
      no one in particular said | October 11th 2017 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

      Winx doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. If someone thinks they can beat her there are races here worth a few million they can take her on in. You challenge the champ in their backyard, you don’t force them to come to you

      • October 11th 2017 @ 2:38pm
        Aransan said | October 11th 2017 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

        Until our best races have similar status to the top bracket races overseas we do need our horses to travel to compete against the best, they won’t come here and it doesn’t have a lot to do with money. The Melbourne Cup is gradually gaining top international status but it will probably need to become more of a quality handicap to attract the best horses.

        • October 15th 2017 @ 10:45pm
          michael steel said | October 15th 2017 @ 10:45pm | ! Report

          I think the Melbourne Cup gained international status when Mark Twain( Samuel Clements) talked about it in the late 1800’s.

      • October 15th 2017 @ 10:43pm
        michael steel said | October 15th 2017 @ 10:43pm | ! Report

        Agree.

    • October 11th 2017 @ 1:17pm
      Punter said | October 11th 2017 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

      My gut feel is that she won’t make it overseas.

      Mares have a switch and once they have had enough, they have had enough and they want to focus on the breeding barn. But while they still want to race, there is nothing I like betting on more. An in form mare is so consistent and it will try its hardest for you every time.

      BC, Makybe, Sunline, Winx are all great examples. They raced Sunline too long, and it showed.

      I would rather see Winx retire early than send her overseas and tip her over the edge.

    • October 15th 2017 @ 10:42pm
      michael steel said | October 15th 2017 @ 10:42pm | ! Report

      When the Kingston Town -Winx comparison is brought up, I quickly ask the question (without notice) if Winx is beating nothing, who are all the great horses Kingston Town beat? I always get “I don’t know off the top of my head”
      The answer is irrelevant, they both beat the best we had to offer.

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