Her trainer admits he was worried and her jockey has had a few anxious moments but Winx has remained cool under pressure to record her 19th-straight win.
Josh Parr on Red Excitement ($26) took the bull by the horns and cleared out to a lead of about 10 lengths in Saturday’s Group Two Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick.
Chris Waller sat watching without any emotion as Hugh Bowman made a move before the turn, realising there was work to do.
In the end, it looked easy with Winx ($1.09) striding out down the straight to catch the leader and win by a length with Bowman having time for a pre-post celebration.
“I don’t think she knew he was out there in front and I have to admit I was more worried this time than last time,” Bowman said.
“I’m concentrating on just keeping her balanced but when she hit the afterburners at the 150m mark today I just can’t explain the feeling.
“I couldn’t do that on any other horse,.”
Waller echoed those sentiments.
The trainer put earmuffs on Winx after she blew the start in the Warwick Stakes two weeks ago and scared her fans before catching stablemate Foxplay to win by a half neck.
The earmuffs worked a treat with Winx jumping well but obviously not as well as Red Excitement.
“I was worried. I didn’t think she was going to get there,” Waller said.
“They turned the race on.
“It’s never what you like to see when you’ve got a horse like her chasing but fair play to them.
“The horse held on and ran second, it didn’t fall out and run last.
“With 400 metres to run I thought I was more concerned today than I was first up.
“I thought she was going to get there quite easily first up with her momentum but it is hard to gauge when you have a horse free rolling like that.”
Adding to Waller’s pressure, his two children were on hand at Randwick for the first time to watch the champion at work.
“They don’t really follow racing but they know who Winx is,” Waller said.
Winx joins New Zealander Gloaming and American star Zenyatta on 19 consecutive wins, six short of the unbeaten sprinter Black Caviar.
Josh Parr, who rode the Gerald Ryan-trained Red Excitement, thought he was about to pull off the biggest upset in recent history.
“I thought I had pulled it off,” he said.
“He is in such great form at the moment. He deserves a big win.
“Today he has just run into possibly the greatest ever.”
Maybe not the greatest ever but certainly the greatest we have at the moment, Winx will head to the Group One George Main Stakes in two weeks before a decision is made on what her lead-up to a record-equalling third Cox Plate will be.
“We might skip a race somewhere along the way but I doubt it will be the George Main,” Waller said.
“We just have to gauge each run.
“Today she had to chase but she did pull up well after her first run so I hope it is the same this time.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au