Thousands around the world had waited many months for the return of none other than the Worlds Best Race Horse- WINX.
The Aussie equine star resumed what has been named as her “Final Preparation” on Saturday 16th February in the Apollo Stakes (a race she infamously missed last year due to jockey Hugh Bowman’s suspension).
The atmosphere on course this day was undescribable, everywhere I went on course I bumped into people who had travelled from far and wide just to catch a glimpse of the wonder mare. There were people from Ireland, China, American and even the UK.
The time came for the mare to strut her stuff in the Theatre Of The Horse at Randwick and as always she enters with deafening cheers from the many who have packed in tight to grab a photo of the worlds best.
A short time later and we all stand in silence as the mare is loaded into the barriers and before long the field is sent on their way, at least this time a nice clean break from Winx, who in the past has missed the kick. Sitting mid-field Winx allows another Aussie favourite in Happy Clapper to take up the running and made him feel that he had returned a lot stronger and was going to be the one to break the wonder mare’s heart. Although, it was his heart that was broken as Winx in her true style breezed up to him and went straight past him to notch up victory number 30 (in a row!!)
So now sadly the beginning of the end has begun. Winx’s campaigns typically only consist of 4 runs and with her return now crossed off and the vet given the all clear, all systems are go toward her next run and it also means that we edge closer to the farewell- the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in April.
As the final farewell approaches, connections associated with the horse must now begin to consider what life will be like post Winx. One thing is for sure, Australian Racing will never be the same. At my tender age of 36, I have been fortunate enough to see some equine stars on the track but none more immortal than Winx. Other champions included Sunline, Makybe Diva, Black Caviar, Saintly, So You Think just to name a few.
I may not be old enough to have seen Phar Lap but Winx is definitely this generation’s champion and should not be compared to the feats of Big Red, we should now look to the future and see if and/or when we may see another like her, one thing is for sure- Winx will be spoken about for many more generations to come (Worldwide)
Long live the Queen!