Champion mare Winx the Cox Plate Queen

Hugh Bowman rides Winx (third from left) to victory in the Cox Plate.
Winx has won a record-equalling third Cox Plate, taking total prize money earnings to $15 million.

Winx had to fight to become the Queen of the Cox Plate, which has only cemented her status as a true champion in part-owner Peter Tighe’s eyes.

Winx has equalled “The King” Kingston Town’s record three Cox Plate wins, becoming the first horse in Australian racing history to amass more than $15 million in prize money.

While she broke her own record time, Winx had to hold off the Darren Weir-trained Humidor in a closer-than-expected finish.

Winx was a sitting duck towards the end, trainer Chris Waller admitted.

“There were obviously moments of concern down the straight, but she’s Winx and she finds a way to win like all champions do.”

That Winx could dig deep when needed is what sets her apart, Tighe said.

“That’s why she’s not just a winning horse, she’s a champion,” he said.

“Today when she needed to call upon all of her powers to go that extra yard, she did.

“That’s what makes her a champion.”

While giving due credit to Kingston Town, Tighe said Winx had created her own record by becoming the first mare to win three Cox Plates.

“We’re unequalled because we own the best mare in the world and the only one to win three Cox Plates.

“There’s been so many records broken here today I wouldn’t know where to start. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”

Jockey Hugh Bowman was almost lost for words after guiding Winx to her 22nd consecutive victory.

“I was born the year Kingston Town won his first Cox Plate and to think she’s emulated the great,” he said.

“We are in the presence of greatness.

“She’ll be recognised as one of the greatest horses to grace the Australian turf.”

The build-up to Winx equalling Kingston Town’s three consecutive Cox Plate wins has been intense.

“This morning when I saw her she was picture perfect, and that’s when the pressure stopped,” Waller said, his voice breaking.

He lies awake at night thinking about her unbeaten streak, which has extended for nearly three years.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I go to bed at night and didn’t think about getting beaten.

“So I’m ready for it. And she won’t ever lose respect from me, but for the fans, I was desperate for them.”

Winx delivered for the soldout crowd of 32,617 at Moonee Valley.

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