Winx was all alone at the wire, breaking the Cox Plate record for margin of victory
Australia’s superstar mare, Winx, put on a breathtaking display Saturday at Moonee Valley Racecourse as she sailed home by eight lengths to win her second consecutive Group 1 Cox Plate and capture her 13th victory in a row.
If the issue was ever in doubt, the 5-year-old daughter of Street Cry vanquished her opponents’ hopes about three furlongs out, accelerating off the final turn and electrifying the packed house with her finish to the wire. Jockey Hugh Bowman had her geared down as she approached the line, well clear of runner-up and second choice in the betting, Hartnell, who was three-quarters in front of third-place finisher Yankee Rose, the only 3-year-old filly in the race. The margin of victory was the largest in the 93-year history of the Cox Plate.
French-bred invader Vadamos made an early move to the lead and pushed the pace with a five-length advantage in the 2040-meter event (about 1 1/4 miles). Winx sat patiently in third until Hartnell made a move on the final turn and she went with him, soon putting away the gelding and drawing away from the field.
With the win in the AUD$ 3 million Cox Plate, the 2015-16 Australian Horse of the Year boosted her tally of Group 1 victories to eight. She won last year’s Cox Plate by five lengths and hasn’t lost since April, 2015. With rain falling off and on both Friday and Saturday, the Moonee Valley turf course was rated soft. It was her third win from five starts over that kind of going.
The crowd was clearly in Winx’s corner as she emerged from the tunnel onto the course before the race, and fans roared their approval as she opened up in the stretch and then again when she returned to the winner’s circle.
“We appreciate it. It’s such a proud moment and a proud moment for Australia,” trainer Chis Waller said after the race. Waller indicated a third Cox Plate go might be in the offing, which would give the mare a chance to equal the mark of Kingston Town, who won three straight Cox Plates in the early 1980s.
Watch the race below.
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