A once in a lifetime thoroughbred, Winx wowed Australian horse racing fans from 2013 to 2019.
She was an incredible thoroughbred that is rated as one of the best of all time. Although never leaving Australia, Winx earned the respect of judges all around the world.
We look at the career and achievements of the wonder mare, and what made her such a valuable asset to the horse racing landscape.
Winx doesn’t have an unbeaten record, but she ended her career with 33 consecutive wins and most of those came at a high level.
Her career started with three consecutive wins in Sydney before running second in the Tea Rose Stakes and Flight Stakes. She then produced her career-worst results with a fifth in the Surround Stakes and a seventh in the Light Fingers.
In April 2015, she finished second in the Australian Oaks with Joao Moreira in the saddle before scoring an incredible win in the Sunshine Coast Guineas. It was from that moment that her winning streak would start.
Her first Group 1 success came in the Queensland Oaks and 24 more Group 1 wins to her record. However, she was most famous for winning the Cox Plate in four consecutive years.
Champion thoroughbreds have tried to win three and failed, including Sunline, but Winx put pay to her opposition by winning four straight. The Cox Plate is the race that took Winx to a new level, as local and international opposition failed to race at her level.
Her class was evident throughout her career. She never succumbed to injury, which is the making of a true champion thoroughbred. Trainer Chris Waller had her ticking over perfectly for every run and her record is testament to his training ability.
She finished her career with 43 starts for 37 wins and three second placings. She won over $26 million in total career earnings, which is a record unlikely to be broken any time soon.
What did Winx do for racing?
Australia was still buzzing on the achievements of Black Caviar when Winx came along. She wasn’t needed as much as Black Caviar was, but she created fanfare more than any other racehorse since Phar Lap.
She not only brought people to the track, selling out the likes of Randwick and Moonee Valley, but prize money was increased significantly during her career.
The only blight on her career was that connections never decided to race her overseas. However, when the money is so good at home, why travel?
Much like Black Caviar, Winx introduced many non-racing fans into the world of horse racing. She created headlines throughout Australia, and she even kicked off some news programs after a win.
Her effect on racing won’t be immediately noticeable, but there will be long-lasting positive effects caused by the champion mare.
Why was Winx so good?
Questions have been asked about why Winx was so good. She didn’t have a long stride, but she was able to take 14 strides every five seconds, compared to 12 of her rivals.
It enabled her to find acceleration when many others couldn’t. She was able to adjust her speed at the flick of a switch, as we saw numerous times throughout her career.
Many scientists look at the heart of champions to see if they were bigger than usual. Winx’s ‘heart’ never really came into question, because she was rarely tested. Winx was so good, she didn’t always have to find her fifth gear to pull out the victory.
The people behind Winx
Winx was bred by Fairway Thoroughbreds and sold at auction for $230,000. She was purchased by Peter Tighe, Richard Treweeke and Debbie Kepitis.
It wasn’t a rags-to-riches story for the owners, who are all successful in horse racing, but it was still an incredible story.
She was given to Chris Waller to train and although the likes of Jason Collett, Larry Cassidy, James McDonald and Tommy Berry had rides on Winx, Hugh Bowman was her long-time compatriot.
Since her in the 2015 Epsom Handicap, no other jockey rode Winx. When Hugh Bowman was suspended, connections decided to alter Winx’s campaign so that Bowman could retain the ride.
Winx Achievements and Statistics
Winx won Australian Horse of the Year in four consecutive seasons from 2015-2019. She was also ranked the World’s Best Turf Horse in 2016 and 2017.
She ended her career with a Timeform rating of 134 and she won the Secretariat Vox Populi Award in 2018, where she was voted by race fans in a record 60 countries.
Race record: 37 wins from 43 starts
Career earnings: $26,421,176
Group 1 wins: 25
Timeform rating: 134
Breeding: Street Cry x. Vegas Showgirl
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockey: Hugh Bowman
Owners: Magic Bloodstock, R Treweeke, D Kepitis
Silks: Blue and white
Sold for: $230,000
Years active: 2013-2019