Nudge, Nudge – Winx Wins!

First horse since Noholme in 1959 to win the Epsom-Cox Plate double.

Winx (2)

Shades of Sunline! The outstanding Winx

Chris Waller said this week that he thought Winx could be a superstar. Well, what an understatement that turned out to be given the mare’s imperious display to claim Saturday’s Gr1 WS Cox Plate run over 2040m at Moonee Valley.

It was shades of Sunline as Winx cruised to the front before the turn and soon had the race in her keeping, clearing out to claim the $3 million weight-for-age championship in track record time.

With High Bowman aboard, she was 4-3/4 lengths clear on the line from Criterion, with Irish raider Highland Reel in third.

The victory got the monkey off Chris Waller’s back, with Australia’s leading Group One trainer of recent seasons finally claiming one of the country’s four “majors”.

“It was a huge thrill. It obviously hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said.

“She had a lovely run and when she just put the foot down turning for home, it was shades of Sunline, wasn’t it?”

Winx was backed into favourite for the Cox Plate on the back of her dazzling winning run that began at the Queensland winter carnival.

Bowman was overcome with emotion returning to scale aboard the mare which became the first horse since Noholme in 1959 to win the Epsom-Cox Plate double.

“When I was a little boy, all I wanted to be was a jockey. To be here riding on this stage is one thing, but to win a race like this, I can’t tell you how much it means,” he said.

“I’m so thankful, obviously, to Chris Waller and the connections of the horse … I just can’t believe it to be honest.”

Bowman said despite drawing near the fence, which was the place to be on Saturday, his main concern was giving Winx clear room to show her dynamic sprint.

“At the 600m when The Cleaner rolled off and went through I didn’t want to be going that early, but sometimes you’ve got to go that early, sometimes you don’t have choices.

“You have to take the cards you’re dealt and I was on the premium mare that was able to capitalise on the run that I wanted.”

Waller also raced Preferment (ninth) and Kermadec (13th) in the Cox Plate and was prepared to forgive their well-beaten efforts.

“My three horses just turned four. They had to step up. And they needed to come to this level and obviously she has,” he said.

“The other two will be right. They’ve only just turned four.”

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