Horse Racing

Waller knows Winx is a world beater

SYDNEY’S super mare Winx didn’t need to take to racing’s international stage to prove her world champion status.

And this is the very reason the Winx is making her attempt at an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Trainer Chris Waller said he has no regrets about not accepting the challenge of racing Winx overseas.

“Absolutely none!” Waller replied emphatically. “I’m quite proud of the fact we haven’t got too worried about that.

Chris Waller (right) has no regrets about keeping Winx at home. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“Going to the other side of the world is one thing, coming back and doing well as well as she is expected to is very difficult.’’

Part-owner Peter Tighe supported Waller’s view, adding the fact Winx has raced exclusively in Australia is the reason she is still performing at her peak as a seven-year-old.

“It would have been too tiring for her if we took her to Royal Ascot or to another country to race,’’ Tighe said.

“She is an Australian horse and has an adoring public following here. We made the decision to let her continue her racing days in Australia and we are so very happy with that decision.

“It’s the reason she is here now going for a fourth Cox Plate.’’

Winx is attempting her 29th successive win and her 22nd at Group One level — a world record — in the Cox Plate.

Hugh Bowman rides Winx during Breakfast with the Best. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Waller has said all week that “only bad luck or an absolute champion” can prevent Winx from claiming a fourth Cox Plate.

“When I look at her winning sequence, it shows you how good she is,’’ the trainer said.

“Not only is she good enough to win these races, she is good enough to overcome problems and still win.

“To do this 28 times in a row shows she is superior to what she is racing against in this era.

“I’ve never been able to quantify how good the other great horses in the world are but she is clearly one of them.’’

Waller said planning and preparation for a fourth Cox Plate with Winx began virtually the day after she completed her three-peat at the Valley last year.

“This has been 12 months in the making so it is a relief just to get to this day,’’ Waller said.

“I’ll hand the reins over to Hugh and try to watch the race on my own.

Winx is washed down by stablehands at Moonee Valley after a workout. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

“The beauty of Winx is you can get to enjoy the last 200m of most of her races and that is such a surreal feeling.’’

Winx is a seven-year-old now and seemingly defying time, racing at an age most mares have been retired to the breeding barn.

“If Winx was an entire then they are so valuable from a stud perspective they wouldn’t still be a racehorse, they would be at stud,’’ Bowman said.

“With many of the males we don’t see the best ones beyond their four-year-old seasons. If we did we would see stronger racing but the reality is they just can’t continue racing because they are so valuable.

“That is why we are so lucky with Winx because her owners bought her to race and because she is in the form that she is and she is happy to race, they (owners) are happy to continue to do so.

“Also, Chris’s management and his discipline in not over-racing her is why she is still racing at the peak of her form.’’

Originally published as Waller knows Winx is a world beater

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