Winx Shines Again At The Apollo Stakes!
Written on the 17 February 2017
After a 48 hour delay in the Apollo Stakes due to Sydney's stifling heat, Winx outshone the competition once more on Monday, with a second Apollo Stakes victory!
Again it was left to Hartnell to do the chasing with the Godolphin owned horse ending up 2 3/4 lengths behind in second place and Chris Waller trained Endless Drama making a brave effort in third place.
It was an unprecedented move by the Australian Turf Club and Racing NSW officials to make the decision to delay the Saturday Apollo Stakes and run instead on Monday due to extreme weather. While the postponement has come at a financial cost to the principal club, Winx making a faultless start to her latest campaign is sure to have its rewards for racing officials when the serious money races are run.
Trainer Chris Waller said he sensed Winx had coped with the recent heat as well as any horse in his stable.
"They just don't lie down and start panting or something like that," Waller said.
"You do everything you can with her and every horse in terms of looking after them. You keep the electrolytes up to them. But they lead healthy lives. They go to bed on time, they eat properly and they drink a lot of water."
Surprisingly, jockey Hugh Bowman said there were some anxious moments before Winx set up her winning lead.
"When the sprint went on at the 600 (metres) she was left flat-footed for about four strides and it was foreign land for me because she just does it for me all the time," he said.
With 14 straight wins after claiming her second Apollo Stakes, Winx has equaled a sequence which belongs to Phar Lap.
Black Caviar is the most obvious of any modern-day racehorse to be compared to Phar Lap after finishing her unbeaten career with 25 wins.
To compare Black Caviar to Winx is like comparing apples to oranges, with one being a sprinter and the other a 1 mile to 2000m runner.
If Winx is ever beaten, her trainer, Chris Waller has narrowed it down to two ways it might happen.
"It's going to take a champion to beat her or it's going to take her to fail to get beaten," Waller said.
"We'll be hoping for those two things to stay away and she'll continue on winning."
Waller has expressed relief rather than elation after Winx's most recent win.
"I wouldn't trade it for the world but it's sad you don't enjoy it as much as you should along the way because of the build-up and I just know at the end of each day she was racing I was totally rooted."
Nearly 6000 fans turned up to the late afternoon race at Randwick on Monday to watch Winx, and Waller said it was a humbling experience.
"I wouldn't say she has got to Black Caviar status at all but you start to get that feeling," Waller told RSN radio on Wednesday. "To see them with the caps or blue flags or other memorabilia it is a pretty humbling experience to see them doing it for one of your horses."
"She is a mature horse now and I think she will maintain her ratings and it will take a very good horse to beat her and it will take her to start to taper off as horses do at some stage in their career. But at this stage I think she will be right for the next six months at least."
(Photo: Winx winning the Apollo Stakes, photo credit: Daily Telegraph)