Homeracing

Winx Bids for Historic Fourth Straight Cox Plate Victory

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

October 25th, 2018

Twenty-eight consecutive victories. Most top-class horses don’t even run in that many races, let alone win that many races. To prevail in 28 consecutive races is an extraordinary feat, bordering on the unbelievable, which is why the seven-year-old Australian super mare has gained an international reputation as one of the greatest racehorses of all time.

All told, Winx has won 32 of her 38 starts, but she might never face a tougher test than on October 27th when she seeks an unprecedented fourth victory in the roughly 1 ¼-mile Ladbrokes Cox Plate (Aus-I) at Moonee Valley, Australia’s premiere middle-distance weight-for-age race. To date, only Kingston Town and Winx have won the race three times; a fourth victory for Winx would allow her to stand alone in the record books.

She already stands alone in some respects. Her 21 victories at the Group 1 level is a world record for a flat runner and trails only the 22 Group 1 wins recorded by the sensational hurdler Hurricane Fly. Furthermore, her 28 consecutive victories have all come at the stakes level, which is believed to be a record.

As Winx gears up for the Cox Plate, which might prove to be the final start of her illustrious career, she seems to be maintaining great form. She’s won all three of her starts since returning to action in August, including the 1 ¼-mile Tab Turnbull Stakes (Aus-I) three weeks ago, and trainer Chris Waller said in a press release that Winx “is as well as we can have her and the preparation has gone very well. Obviously we are getting towards the eve of this big race and in comparison to last year she is basically in the same condition.”

That’s a good thing, because Winx will be facing seven formidable rivals in the Cox Plate and may need her best to keep her win streak alive. Leading the list of challengers is ’s high-class Benbatl, who won the Dubai Turf (UAE-I) in decisive fashion earlier this year. He subsequently scored another Group 1 win in Germany before traveling to Australia to prep for the Cox Plate, where he proved his affinity for the local racing scene by winning the 1 ¼-mile Ladbrokes Stakes (Aus-I) at Caulfield.

Also shipping in from Europe is the -trained three-year-old Rostropovich, beaten just a half-length in the Irish Derby (Ire-I) this summer. He prepped for the Cox Plate with a victory in the 1 ½-mile Paddy’s Rewards Club Stakes (Ire-III) at Leopardstown and will have O’Brien’s go-to jockey Ryan Moore in the saddle.

Humidor, beaten just a half-length by Winx in the 2017 Cox Plate, most recently finished third behind Benbatl in the Ladbrokes Stakes and is among the best of the locals set to challenge Winx. Avilius, who has won four straight races this year, is taking a big step up in class but could be one to watch, while Winx’s own stablemate D’Argento—fifth in the Ladbrokes Stakes and winner of the Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (Aus-I) in March—adds further depth to the field.

Completing the lineup are Kings Will Dream, who came home third behind Winx in the Turnbull Stakes, and Savvy Croup, who makes an excursion from New Zealand after winning the 1 ¼-mile Livamol Classic (NZ-I) three weeks ago.

Post time for the Cox Plate is 2:00 a.m. Eastern. Be sure to watch (and wager) as Winx bids for history!

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