04/08/2017 11:29AM

Winx dominant again in Queen Elizabeth Stakes


Winx, the world’s top-rated turf horse, completed her second consecutive season without a loss in Australia on Saturday with her 17th straight win in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick Racecourse outside of Sydney.

A 6-year-old mare, Winx won the $3.02 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes at about 1 1/4 miles on turf by 5 1/4 lengths over Hartnell, who has finished behind Winx seven times in his career.

Trainer Chris Waller indicated that Winx will not race again until the end of the Australian winter in August and will be pointed for a third consecutive win in the Group 1 Cox Plate in October. The Cox Plate is considered Australia’s top weight-for-age race. Kingston Town is the only horse to win three consecutive runnings of the Cox Plate, doing so from 1980-82.

Winx was 2-17 to win the Queen Elizabeth against eight rivals. Ridden by Hugh Bowman, Winx closed from the middle of the field to take the lead with more than a furlong to go and was not threatened late. Hartnell (17-1) finished a neck in front of 150-1 Sense of Occasion.

By Street Cry, Winx was second in the Group 1 Australian Oaks in April 2015. She won two starts in May 2015 and was unbeaten in seven starts in the 2015-16 season and eight starts this season. Winx has won 12 Group 1 races ranging in distance from 7 1/2 furlongs to 1 3/8 miles.

The Queen Elizabeth was one of four Group 1 turf races on the Randwick program, but only three were completed. The stewards ordered the $1.5 million Sydney Cup to be abandoned after a spill early in the two-mile race led to safety concerns about the remaining runners. Almoonqith, who was involved in the spill, was euthanized as a result of injuries sustained in the fall.

Bonneval, the winner of the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks last month, won her first start in Australia in the $756,800 Australian Oaks at 1 1/2 miles.

Foxplay, trained by Waller, won the $756,800 Queen of the Turf Legacy Stakes for fillies and mares at a mile, earning an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Del Mar on Nov. 4. The Queen of the Turf Legacy Stakes was Foxplay’s first win in a Group 1 race in her third attempt.