Winx the magnificent mare makes it 22 on the bounce
Humidor puts the pressure on but superstar digs in to win third Cox Plate in Melbourne
Winx and jockey Hugh Bowman after the mare won her 22nd consecutive race. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty
Australian superstar Winx secured her 22nd consecutive victory with an historic third triumph in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
Chris Waller’s incredible mare had won the Moonee Valley showpiece in each of the last two years and having looked better than ever when dominating her rivals in the Turnbull Stakes three weeks ago, her first success at Flemington, she was unsurprisingly a red-hot favourite to emulate the great Kingston Town, who won the Cox Plate three times in the early 1980s.
The six-year-old was fractious in the starting stalls, but jumped out cleanly and travelled with her usual exuberance in the hands of Hugh Bowman.
She moved menacingly to the front rounding the home turn and while Humidor briefly threatened to cause a huge upset, finishing strongly in the closing stages of the 10-furlong contest, Winx had enough in reserve to hold him at bay.
Bowman told www.racing.com: “It’s hard to explain really. It’s been such a build-up and I’m lost for words.
“She’s made history. I was born the year Kingston Town won his first Cox Plate and she has emulated the great.
“Trying to compare one horse to another is difficult, they’re all different, but we are in the presence of greatness.
“She will be recognised as one of the greatest horses to grace the Australian turf and to be a part of her career, I can’t explain how much that means.
“It’s very humbling, I’m very proud and I look forward to watching the replay.”
The jockey was keen to pay tribute to Waller, adding: “I think we’re all proud of what we’ve achieved together, but I think Chris Waller needs to take a lot of the credit.
“To be able to manage an animal like this and bring her back three years in a row to peak on one particular day, I think it goes unnoticed.
“I’ve had an amazing career and Winx delivered me my first Group One in this race two years ago. She’s now delivered me with my only other two.
“She’s the type of horse that you dream of. Everyone dreams of a horse like this and being a part of a horse like this.
“This thoroughbred has brought so much joy to my life and my family’s life.”