After her astounding victory in November’s Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate in November, Winx earned herself a bit of a rest before going post-ward in the next chapter of what has already become a story of legend. It was already her fourth race and win of the 2016-17 racing season.
The connections, owners Magic Bloodstock Racing (Mgr: P G Tighe), R G Treweeke & Mrs D N Kepitis and trainer Chris Waller, have tentatively decided on the Group 2 Apollo Stakes as the best place to start gearing up for a summer/autumn campaign that could be her last before heading off to the breeding shed.
The Apollo Stakes is scheduled to be run on February 11 at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, Australia. The race will be run at 1400 meters (7 furlongs) on grass for three-year olds and older for a total purse AUS $250,000. All starters will race under weight-for-age conditions. Winx figures to be a heavy favorite, virtually unbeatable under these conditions.
The brilliant five-year old mare will be going after here 14th straight victory in the Apollo. The last time she tasted defeat was in November of 2015 when she failed to handle a soft turf course and finished a strong second in the Group 1 Australian Oaks. Since that time, she was won nine Group 1 events, including the Cox Plate twice and the prestigious George Ryder Stakes.
If the connections intend to follow last year’s schedule, Winx will hopefully defend her Apollo Stakes title and take another run at the Chipping Norton Stakes at the end of the month and the George Ryder Stakes in early March. Everything is expected to culminate in her running in the $4 million Group I Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8, a race that could be her last.
All eyes will be on one of the greatest Aussie thoroughbreds in history as she winds down what has been a brilliant career. Going into the Apollo Stakes, the Winx has a racing record of 23 starts with 17 wins and 3 place finishes. After a recent solid 1000 gallop in company with stable-mate Preferment, regular jockey Hugh Bowman and trainer Waller deemed her fit and ready to go.
Before the final chapter of this mare’s story is written, racing fans have already come to understand this is no ordinary racehorse. With almost AUD $10.0 million in purses, Winx has earned her place alongside the nation’s greatest races of all time. That would include Phar Lap, Kingston Rule, Makybe Diva and Black Caviar.
Aussie horse racing is among the best racing in the world. With the Melbourne Cup (AUD $6.0 million) and Golden Slipper Stakes (AUD $3.5 million) holding places as the most lucrative grass races in the world for three-year olds and two-year olds, respectively, Australia continues to produce horse racing events that have become the envy of the world. Punters, who enjoy betting on both sports and horses are treated to the best in sports with Aussie Rules Football along with year-round quality racing.