03/03/2018 2:09PM

Winx leaves no doubt in Chipping Norton Stakes


The win streak has reached 23, and the Group 1 wins number 16. Winx, the two-time Australian Horse of the Year, had a brilliant start to her 2018 season with an easy win in Saturday’s Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney.

Under regular rider Hugh Bowman, Winx (1-11 with bookmakers) closed from the back of the field to take the lead in early stretch before cruising to a seven-length win over Prized Icon. The margin of victory was the widest since Winx won the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill Gardens last March by 7 1/4 lengths. The George Ryder Stakes on March 24 is expected to be Winx’s next start.

The $467,100 Chipping Norton Stakes at a mile on turf was Winx’s first start since a record-equaling third consecutive win in the Group 1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley Racecourse last October. Kingston Town won three Cox Plates from 1980-82.

Winx won the Chipping Norton Stakes for the third consecutive year. The 2016 running was her seventh win of the current winning streak, while last year’s race was her 15th straight win.

Trained by Chris Waller for a partnership, Winx was considered for the Group 2 Apollo Stakes on Feb. 17, but Waller scrapped the plan when Bowman picked up a suspension that included that racing day. Bowman has ridden Winx in 21 wins during the current streak and in her last 20 starts.

A 6-year-old mare by Street Cry, Winx holds the record for the most Group 1 wins by an Australian-based horse, surpassing the 15 victories by the brilliant sprinter Black Caviar from 2009-13. Black Caviar retired unbeaten in 25 races. Winx has won 27 of 33 starts.

John Henry, the American Horse of the Year in 1981 and 1984, won 16 Grade 1 races from 1980-84. The Irish hurdler Hurricane Fly won 22 Grade 1 races in England and France from 2008-15.