A brave move to keep Winx in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes has paid off for Chris Waller after his superstar mare recorded its 15 straight win.
Winx drifted slightly in the market due to the track rating, but the heavy 9 did not bother the five-year-old as it loomed up large at the 400m and kicked away untouched in the latter stages of the race to return $1.30 at Crownbet.com.au.
Long-time Winx rival Hartnell was a late firmer in the market but failed to make an impression after racing three wide for large portions of the race.
Hartnell’s jockey Brenton Avdulla – who stepped up in the absence of Godolphin pair James McDonald and James Doyle – said the horse failed to deliver when it mattered.
“I travelled three deep just outside them. Comfortable enough. He didn’t find.” Avdulla said.
Chris Waller said it was an agonising decision on whether he would let Winx run on the heavy track but was content to let the horse take to the field.
“There is a bit of expectation with this horse to run her. I didn’t want to see tomorrow’s newspaper if I didn’t run her.” Waller said.
“I was so close to scratching her but we made the right decision.”
A uncharacteristically emotional Waller said Winx is getting the recognition it deserves worldwide after stomping its rivals into the ground in every race it competes in.
“I am so proud of her. She is a beautiful mare.”
“She can’t do much more than what she is doing. She is getting the respect she deserves and you can’t ask for much more than that.”
“She is pretty amazing. So many people are enjoying her racing. She has a great group of owners who have done nothing but support her every day through her career.”
Jockey Hugh Bowman said there were no issues on his end regarding the track, but understood the trainer’s reservations heading into the feature.
“Chris asked me what I thought early in the day and I said she would be fine.” Bowman said.
“Chris monitored conditions as the day went on, at the end of the day it is his decision and I would prefer not to interfere.”
The champion jockey said Winx handled the soggy conditions well, but showed some atypical traits on the line once the race was won.
“She would be more comfortable if the surface wasn’t as wet as it is. Over the final stages when we had the race won and stopped pushing her she really idled down which isn’t really in her make up.”
“She got the job done but she is most effective on good ground.”