Supermare Winx commenced her farewell campaign at Randwick today in style, running a race record time as she toyed with her opponents in the A$252,000 Gr2 Apollo Stakes run over 1400m at Randwick. She made history, becoming the first horse to win the Apollo three times.
Stretching her winning sequence to 30, it was just the sort of performance trainer Chris Waller and connections wanted to see at her first run since her fourth Cox Plate triumph in October.
Winx defeated the ever reliable Happy Clapper by 2.25 lengths with two-lengths to Egg Tart – owned in similar interests to Winx – finishing third.
Jockey Hugh Bowman put Winx into a more forward position (fifth) as the field settled into stride out of respect for Happy Clapper, who tracked the leaders.
“We needed to be within striking distance but as the race unfolded we settled into a lovely rhythm, as we always do and it was a pretty comfortable race for me and Winx as well,” Bowman said.
“She was in pure control from the 600 metres when the pressure started to build.
“As I went past Sam (Clipperton, rider of Happy Clapper) I really asked her for a full effort.”
Winx has won 34 of her 40 starts. Bowman has ridden Winx 30 times for 29 wins
Part-owner Peter Tighe dedicated the victory to those Australians “doing it tough” in North Queensland with the floods and in Western NSW with bushfires.
“We hope it puts a smile on your face and gives you a little bit of hope and gives you something to think about and dream about,” Tighe said.