Australian champion mare Winx ended her Thoroughbred racing career on Saturday at Royal Randwick in Sydney, defeating males in the Group I Queen Elizabeth Stakes for the third consecutive career and extending her winning streak to 33 races. Twenty-five of those wins for the 7-year-old mare came in Group I competition in her native Australia.
Trained by Chris Waller and ridden by Hugh Bowman for all but two of those 33 wins, Winx is owned by Magic Bloodstock Racing, R.G. Treweeke and Mrs. D.N. Kepitis.
The connections of Winx have yet to name a mate for her as she begins her next career as a broodmare. Winx retires with a record of 37 wins from 43 starts, with three second-place finishes, for earnings of AUS$26,336,674. Converted to U.S. dollars, Winx has now passed Arrogate (U.S.$17,422,600) as the world’s all-time money winner. Her 37 career victories match the record of another Australian racing legend, Phar Lap, who raced from 1929-’32.
Winx’s last career defeat came on April 11, 2015, when she ran second to Gust of Wind in the G1 Australian Oaks. But since beginning her streak May 16, 2015, Winx has been nothing short of sensational. She passed historic win streaks of American champion Zenyatta (who won her first 19 starts before losing to Blame in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic) and fellow Australian Black Caviar (the exceptional sprinter who retired after five racing seasons with a perfect record of 25 wins from 25 starts, including a Group 1 triumph at Royal Ascot).
In the Queen Elizabeth, Bowman settled Winx off the rail and in sixth position as Mark of Time showed the way early. With less than a half mile to run, Bowman made his move to the leaders, swinging four wide at the top of the stretch as jockey Tommy Berry got a dream trip along the rails aboard Kluger, saving all the ground and taking a narrow advantage at the top of the straight. Bowman had the Japanese runner measured, however, and won going away as Winx has done in virtually all of her victories.
As Winx approached the finish line for the last time, the victory assured, race caller Bruce McAvaney said “Farewell, an Australian icon, the greatest of all time.”
“It’s over,” Waller said afterwards. “There’s mixed emotions and I’m so proud to be part of it.”