Racing

Winx sets world record

Australian wonder mare captures her 23rd straight Group 1 victory and stretches her unbeaten streak to 31

Mighty Australian mare Winx won a world record 23rd Group 1 race on Saturday and stretched her unbeaten streak to 31 as the top-rated turf horse romped to victory once again.

The best galloper on the planet, trained by Chris Waller, was odds-on favourite in the A$600,000 (S$575,000) Chipping Norton Stakes over 1,600m at Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse, but she had to work hard.

Happy Clapper took the lead out of the gate and was some seven lengths in front coming round the final turn, before Winx did what she has done so many times before and moved up a gear to reel in her gallant rival and win comfortably.

It was the fourth time in a row Winx has won the race, making it her 23rd Group 1 victory, one more than retired Northern Hemisphere jumper Hurricane Fly.

Group 1 are the highest-class of thoroughbred racing, attracting the best horses and highest prizemoney. In Australia, they include the Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup.

"The pace was very solid throughout and we had to make our way into the race," said her long-time jockey, Hugh Bowman.

"I know I probably looked in trouble at the 700m. But I knew she would find another gear and she did it with relative ease in the end, as I expected she would.

"I had the horse to get me out of trouble, as she has done time and time again."

By seven years old, most horses would have retired and Winx is in her farewell autumn campaign.

She is expected to race only two more times, with the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Randwick in April likely to be her swansong.

"I can see the sun going down. Hopefully, we can get through two more races," said an emotional Waller.

Asked about winning a 23rd Group 1 race, he replied: "She's a superstar, very, very special."

Winx smashed legendary sprinter Black Caviar's Australian win record last August when making it 26 in a row, with her unbeaten streak stretching back almost four years. - AFP

HORSE RACING