SUPERSTAR mare Winx took out the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes in consummate ease to take its career earnings in excess of $12 million.
The Waller wondermare was snagged back to midfield by Hugh Bowman after jumping well from the stalls and the jockey eased the $1.12 favourite at Sporsbet.com.au to the outside just before the turn to torch its rivals to record a brilliant four-length win.
Godolphin gelding Hartnell ($1.60 at WilliamHill.com.au) jumped well from barrier one and booted up on the rail, but could only manage second behind the great one while Sense Of Occasion ran into third to return $8.10 at Crownbet.com.au.
James Doyle said Hartnell finished a “tired horse” after sitting on the pace for the majority of the race.
“(I was) pleased with him,” Doyle said.
“It was a bit of a false race they went quite slow, I opened them up a little bit, but he finished a tired horse.”
Even if the owners and trainers went into the $4 million race saying they had a chance, deep down they had to have known they were making up the numbers.
Chris Waller said the stage was set for Winx.
“She’s had a perfect preparation, pretty much, she makes everything look perfect really though. She makes me look like a genius.” Waller said.
“It should all be about Winx. Everywhere she goes people follow her and it’s very heartwarming.
“It’s just a big relief for the day to be finally here and to have the job done. It’s indescribable really. We take it as it comes. She’s doing great things.”
Jockey Hugh Bowman said Winx was “so dominant” in the team’s self-proclaimed “grand final” for the wondermare.
“What a supreme athlete she is and what an honour it is to just be a part of her career,” Bowman said.
The superstar jockey seldom draws the whip on Winx, but in the horse’s swan song for the autumn, Bowman said he wanted the “supreme effort”.
“I don’t whip her too often, but I wanted that supreme effort today in the Grand final and when I gave her one she extended again, I could really feel the crowd’s love for her.”
“Just look at her. She’s a supreme athlete, she’s the ultimate professional,
“I love her.”
The trainer said that while there is no guarantees Winx will end its career without tasting defeat again, punters and racing enthusiasts should sit back and enjoy the ride.
“It’s the same every start, you shouldn’t look into patterns with her. They’re different athletes you can’t just see how they are going every day and ask them how they feel – 21 days is a long time between runs.
“You don’t expect to win every start, and she’ll get beaten one day, but she’ll bounce back.
“She’s a champion.”