Champion Australian mare Winx bids for her sixteenth consecutive win on Saturday when she lines up to contest the WFA Gr1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill.
The daughter of Street Cry has drawn barrier gate 8 of 9 as she bids to take her Group One tally to 11. She won the race last year.
Regular pilot Hugh Bowman suggested that this was Winx’ toughest task for some time
Winx won the Gr1 Chipping Norton Stakes run over a mile at Randwick comfortably by two lengths on a heavy track on 25 February and was likely to confront another heavy track on Saturday.
“She’s starting to get to a level that she was when she won the Cox Plate by 8 lengths last year. So that to me is very exciting,” Bowman said.
“The fact is it’s 1500 metres so it’s probably short of her best distance and she’s going to take on some serious competition in Chautauqua, Le Romain and others. I think those two horses put the writing on the wall in the Canterbury Stakes the other day that they’re up for the challenge. We’re going to know where we’re at anyway,” said Bowman.
Godolphin’s retained jockey William Buick, who partners Hauraki against Winx on Saturday, said he was ‘excited’ by the challenge.
“When you’re in these sorts of races you are in them because you want to beat the superstars,” Buick said on Tuesday. “At the same time, you have huge respect for them as well. It is exciting because I have never ridden against Winx..
“She is the world’s top-ranked horse and has huge following every time she runs. I haven’t missed one of her runs.”