02/13/2017 10:49AM

Winx notches comeback victory in Apollo Stakes


The star Australian mare Winx won her 14th race in a row Monday at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, Australia, when she captured the Group 2 Apollo Stakes over her old rival Hartnell by almost three lengths while making her first start since November.

The Apollo had been scheduled for Saturday, but Australian racing officials pushed the Randwick card back two days because of extreme heat in Sydney. But Winx looked anything but stifled or drained while continuing her run of middle-distance dominance on the Australian turf.

Five-year-old Winx, by Street Cry, was the highest-rated turf horse in the world last year in the World Thoroughbred Rankings compiled by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. Overall, her rating of 132 trailed only Arrogate (134) and California Chrome (133), and she left no doubt of her continuing superiority Monday.

Stalking the pace under regular rider Hugh Bowman, Winx was briefly urged off the turn in the 1,400 meter (about seven-furlong) Apollo, but once outside and into the clear straightening for home, she inhaled the horses in front of her. With two quick left-handed cracks of the crop, Bowman sent her on to a decisive victory over Hartnell, who carried four pounds more than Winx. Winx was timed in 1:22.57 over good going.

Winx has won 14 straight starts since a second-place finish on April 11, 2015 in the Group 1 Australian Oaks over about 1 1/2 miles, a distance outside Winx’s scope. Winx’s career record now stands at 18-3-0 from 24 starts. Winx has a nomination to the Group 1 Australian Cup over 2,000 meters March 11 at Flemington.