Winx (pic. Lisa Grimm)
Winx drew a large crowd to Randwick on Saturday and the glamour girl didn’t disappoint her growing fan-base with a resounding victory in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m).
The Street Cry mare made it 10 wins in a row without hitting top gear for jockey Hugh Bowman. It prompted more support ahead of a Group 1 Cox Plate defence for which she is a pronounced $2.60 pre-post favourite.
“It’s hard not to get carried away,” Bowman said after she clocked a cracking 32.89s for the last 600m. “It’s an honour to be on her back and it was a special feeling when she let down today.”
The latest victory came just hours after the Winx connection dominated the Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) awards held – appropriately – in conjunction with Darley’s annual stallion parade in Aberdeen.
Deceased Darley sire Street Cry (Ire) secured the 2015-16 Champion Australian Sire award with record progeny earnings of $12.97 million. Winx accounted for $5.62 million of that total and her dam Vegas Showgirl (Al Akbar) was named Australian Broodmare of the Year.
Winning owners Peter Tighe, Debbie Kepitis and Richard Treweeke also received the NSW Champion Racehorse of the Year award for Winx at Randwick on Thursday night. They bought her for $230,000 at the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions.
Kepitis has seen it all before as the youngest daughter of former Woodlands Stud owner Bob Ingham, however, Saturday was a very special occasion back at Randwick. As an appetiser for the main fare, she presented the trophy after the Bob Ingham Show County Quality.
“She just towed Hughie home,” Kepitis said. “She’s just the bee’s knees.”
Vegas Showgirl completed a big day for the winner’s family when she foaled a Snitzel filly on Saturday night.
Winx will stay in Sydney for the Chelmsford Stakes and George Main Stakes in September before travelling south for the Caulfield Stakes and Cox Plate in October. The Mackinnon Stakes is also a possibility on November 5.
“We would certainly give serious thought to lining up at Flemington,” trainer Chris Waller said. “It’s worth a lot and it would be hard to turn your back on that sort of money if she wins the Cox Plate and pulls up 100%.”
An unbeaten spring campaign will extend her winning run to 15. That would set up an exciting autumn carnival as she closes in on another Street Cry champion.
The Darley sire’s USA heroine Zenyatta won 19 on the trot before losing her unbeaten record in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. That will take some beating but Winx is some mare.
The TBA Awards were presented for the first time in a new format compered by popular industry personality Caroline Searcy.
Champion Australian Sire: Street Cry (Ire)
Street Cry, who passed away in 2014, recorded 12 individual stakes winners for the season highlighted by superstar mare Winx (Aus) and Group 1 Thousand Guineas winner Stay With Me (Aus). The award was presented by TBA President Basil Nolan to Darley’s Barley Ward-Thomas.
Champion Australian Sire of 2YOs: Written Tycoon (Aus)
Responsible for siring outstanding juvenile galloper Capitalist, Woodside Park Stud’s Written Tycoon (Aus) captured his second championship title after being crowned Champion First Season Sire in 2010-2011. TBA and Aushorse Chief Executive Tom Reilly presented the award to Woodside Park’s Mark Rowsthorn.
Champion Australian First Season Sire: Smart Missile (Aus)
Arrowfield Stud’s Smart Missile (Aus) sired 7 individual winners of $454,705 headed by Triple Crown Syndications stakes performer Jericho. TBA Director Ken Barry presented the award to Monica Barrera-Cummings and Gooree Park Stud Manager Andrew Baddock.
Australian Broodmare of the Year: Vegas Showgirl (NZ)
Dam of Winx (Aus), who was undefeated in all 7 starts for the season, and Group 3 winner El Divino (Aus). Presented by Jacqueline Stewart, Manager of Owner and Breeder Services (Keeper of the Australian Stud Book), to Segenhoe Stud’s Peter O’Brien who accepted the award on behalf of breeders John and Deborah Camilleri.
Breeder of the Australian-bred Exported Racehorse of the Year: John & Margaret Thompson
Rangipo (Aus) recorded wins at Group level on four separate occasions throughout the season comprising the Group 1 New Zealand Derby and Group 2 victories in the Great Northern, Waikato and Avondale Guineas.
Rangipo is by Three Bridges’ resident stallion Stryker (Aus) and studmaster Peter Liston accepted the award on behalf of the Thompsons from TBA Vice President Derek Field.