News and events relating to Lord Lodge, horses, industry news etc.
I rate her performance today as one of the best I have seen in my 75 years. The only other one I would rate with it is Tulloch's Queen's Plate win when resuming from an illness that should have killed him. That was 2000m and he had to battle head for head down the long Flemington straight with Lord. so you might as well say Lord had every right to beat him because lack of hard racing condition would go against Tulloch under the circumstances. But Tommy Smith had him primed first up and the horse's heart was huge that day. But Winx...wow....to lose 5-6 lengths at the start and then trail them into the straight I thought she was gone and that her stablemate Foxplay would get the money but Bowman never panicked and the way she put her head down and responded when he asked was something to behold. She is an out and out champion and she gets better with more distance. Some say she may have run her last 600 in about 32 ....well there was a tailwind assisting but sheez to run that sort of time is unbelievable. She is well named...I am sure as went past her stablemate near the line she winked at her.
according to one company who time sectionals etc, Winx has run closer to 31.90 or a bit better for her last 600m.Remember she was like most of them first up after a spell but she has such a competitive nature. One just hopes she eats up and gets over that run because it was tough. An as an aside I would be following Foxplay throughout the Spring as well.
I reckon she has run about 33 flat for her last 600 in the Chelmsford. That says a lot because they almost broke 1.34 for 1600m which for horses barely into their preparation is a big effort. She has in my humble opinion the best finishing run I have ever seen. She is so competitive that I reckon Bowman just says to her "let's go girl" and she responds like nothing I have seen before. Forget the margin....she is a super horse, a freak.
Ok she won and it was soft in the end but lets break down her win and that of Humidor because both were over 1600m at a track with a long run home. Humidor has won from the rear running away in 1.35.35 last 600 in 35.09. Winx has run 1.33.65 or about eight lengths faster and has run even with the much quicker time, faster last 600 in 34.96. Go to Racing NSW website and click on Randwick races today and watch Winx in the last 400. She seems to have a different gear when it is needed. So she goes from idling or cruise control to first as they balance up on turn then gets into a gear that only she possesses and doesn't Bowman know it!
On their last runs at 1600m I rated Winx 5.5 to 6 lengths better than Humidor on times. Forget that Humdor thrashed Hartnell and remember that she beat that horse by a bigger margin in the Cox Plate. Bowman and Waller have said she appears to go better the Melbourne way because she favours it more in her trackwork and the few starts she has had in Melbourne. Her tally so far at 2000m at her last four goes at it shows she is so much better than anything. What we all must pray for now as avid lovers of good horseflesh is that she is not injured and goes for a spell this time in good fettle. That in running in the Cox Plate she does not run into bad luck and I mean really bad luck. Just think folks in this century and it is still young, we have had Black Caviar, Makybe Diva and now Winx. And hate to say it fellas but they are all girls!!!
Okay she won by less than a length but she has broken her own track record, only been hit once on straight as opposed to be 10 whacks on Humidor and now equals the great Kingston Town and has now amassed more prizemoney than any other in Australian history. The pressure on Waller and Bowman would have been enormous with that in back of their mind plus of course keeping her unbeaten record in tact. If they are going to take her to Europe and I would forget Japan, then I think she needs to go out now. She needs to recover and enjoy herself before she takes them on overseas and lets remember that the tracks there should be kinder to her because they at not as firm as Australia and it is no secret she likes a bit of cushion and doesn't make sting out of ground. And can I say that I think both Waller and Bowman are a credit to the industry. The way they have handled it all has been great and you know just how much the pressure has been and how much he loves the horse when you see and hear Waller let the emotion of it all get to him. Great stuff!
Her win today at Randwick shows two things...she IS the best horse in the world. Her Group 1 win gave her 16 of them which equals John Henry's world record set in the U.S years ago. Secondly the way she ambled past them all under the whip and to win by as far as she did shows she does like sting out of ground a bit and has come back better than ever. What to do in future. Well first she has to win George Ryder etc but then do they consider Dubai (not for mine), Royal Ascot (maybe), Moonee Valley and another Cox Plate (yes). Look Makybe Diva is undisputedly the best two miler I have been, Black Caviar the best sprinter, Tulloch potentially before his illness the best horse in the world but Winx...well I think she has just won me over as the best of them all.
Okay cop this for how good she is. She has run almost 15 lengths faster than the winner of the first at Randwick at same distance and that horse would have had slightly better going. She has come home breaking 36 for last 600 and without raising a sweat. That was faster than any previous last 600's. To break 1.35 on a soft track and virtually breezing to the line....Longines where are you? When you equate best horses do you take into account times etc? Ease of wins? Oh I forgot Arrogate didn't do much last prep
Had to work a bit harder today but man is she special. She has run the 1500m in 1.31.48 on a soft 7. A lot of city winners are flat out breaking 1.32 on a good track! and she has come home the last 600 in 34.06 and again to do that on a soft 7 is nothing short of amazing. It makes the form of Happy Clapper and Kementari behind her very good also but she just continues to run final sectionals that blow horses away. World record now 15 Group 1 wins.....next the Queen Elizabeth and maybe then overseas but personally I would love to see her stay here and break BC's most number of successive wins.
Ok she has come home faster over last 600 than the winner of the open sprint the Galaxy (1100m). Doesn't mean of course she would beat top class sprinters but it does show just her ability to go into another gear.
So no trip to Europe this year. Good! I know there will be some, maybe many, who say she should prove herself overseas to be a real world champion but I disagree. Black Caviar went over and won but just got there and I did not hear too many overseas saying just how great she was. It was almost as if they were saying her narrow win proved nothing yet we know now she was muscle score. We have had other sprinters go there and win and not a word that they were world beaters. We had So You Think go and with due respect to O'Brien I think he did not understand the horse nearly as well as Bart yet the horse won Group 1's. If Winx were to go and was injured perhaps, was homesick or as Waller has said the seasonal differences between us and Europe could have a hormonal affect, then she stays here and let them come to us. She still has to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and if she were beaten in that well you can hear the Poms and others saying no wonder she is dodging us. But if she does win and equals BC's successive wins would it not be great that she breaks it here before a crowd sure to pack a racecourse that day and then go for an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate, unbeaten, and her announced last run in her career. I doubt you would get into the course for that. So hats off to the owners, to Chris Waller and let the European press and some Aussie whingers carry on.
I know Hughie said this would be tough and sol did a few others. I disagreed for these reasons. (1) No one can match her final sectionals and she has run the last 600 in about 34.26 which at the end of a G1 over 2000m is quick, very quick. (2) The jocks in this race obviously would be out to win but they would also be wondering where the heck she was and whether to make their runs or not...you cannot have two big things on your mind under those circumstances (3) Hughie did not have those worries. I know many will say now she has equalled BC'successive wins that she might be the best we have seen. Debateable but she is an out and out champion in her own right and we love her. I think Waller and Hughie have done a tremendous job and now for her fourth Cox Plate which would never be beaten.
She may be rising seven but what I saw in her barrier trial at Rosehill yesterday was a mare who just loves racing. She is not a renowned performer in trials but does exactly what Waller and Bowman want from her BUT I wonder how many watched her not only at the finish but at least 200m further. She was wanting to go simple as that and I have been a clip where Bowman has said that in her trackwork she not only wants to pass a stablemate sent out in front but gobble them up and just keep going. Well that was her again yesterday and I think there would be a real twinkle in Hughie and Chris' eyes about the coming Spring. Bring it on!
I may be wrong but methinks Winx is keener than ever. She trialled at Rosehill this morning in the first against a good lot of class horses. Last out and I think deliberately and made to chase a bit from turn but under a hold she just kept wanting to make ground for a close third and again Hughie kept her going for 200m after line and a bit more so she would want to get the 1400 when she resumes. Considering they broke 35 for the last 600 it was a really nice piece of work. Watch out too this prep for D'Argento. Thought he went very well in same trial.
Forgot...here is the link to that trial...https://racing.racingnsw.com.au/FreeFie ... dens,Trial