Winx an absolute champion: Damien Oliver

Jockey Damien Oliver has seen the back of Winx several times but never been in front.

The champion qualities of Winx have not been lost on another of racing’s high achievers who will be watching from the jockeys’ room when the mare runs for the last time at Randwick.

Ten-time Victorian premiership winner and the winner of more Group One races than any other active rider, Damien Oliver will sit out Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes when Winx struts her stuff in her final race.

Oliver has ridden against Winx with his best finish a fourth on The United States in the 2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

“She’s an absolute champion. There’s no other way to describe her,” Oliver said.

“She’s been unbeatable over her last 32 starts and a lot like Black Caviar she dominates her races and scares her rivals away.

“She appears to give her jockey great confidence to overcome whatever is presented to her in a race.

“There’s been times where she’s missed the start and been in an awkward position and has been able to overcome it and then there’s other times where she’s been totally dominant.”

Oliver said for racing’s prosperity Winx arrived at the right time and has kept people talking about the sport.

He said Winx had become mainstream at a time when racing is not, and she will be missed, although not as much from those who have spent years trying to beat her.

“The people like us that are in racing and living it day to day, we do understand that she is important to racing for the perspective of people outside the sport,” Oliver said.

“But for the competitors that are chasing her and trying to beat her, we probably won’t miss her as much.”

Oliver has four rides on Saturday, including Vengeur Masque in the Sydney Cup and Oregon’s Day in the Coolmore Legacy.

“They’re probably each-way chances on a tough day,” Oliver said.

* Damien Oliver vs Winx (since her winning streak began)

6th Fawkner – 2015 Cox Plate

4th The United States – 2017 Queen Elizabeth Stakes

5th Sir Isaac Newton – 2017 Turnbull Stakes

6th Happy Clapper – 2017 Cox Plate

5th So Si Bon – 2019 George Ryder Stakes

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