Flemington Nabobs Jig the VRC Calendar to Woo Winx
Can a horse that has never made a pilgrimage to Headquarters be truly considered great?
Strange but true, Sydney’s super mare Winx has never jumped at Flemington. Kingston Town, that Winx seeks to join by winning a third Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in October, competed at Flemington three times, something numerologists cannot fail to notice.
KT’s legend has grown over the years, perhaps beyond his true accomplishments. He ran only 22 times. Winx has already run 27 races, so there, all you VRC bluebloods can retire your indignation.
We will not bother with a prizemoney comparison, as 35 years tends to render such comparisons meaningless. Winx earns more for one win than KT earned for his illustrious career.
Simply for a little context for any who may wonder where this is going, this weekend’s meeting at Caulfield marks the end of the 2016 – 2017 Australian thoroughbred racing season with the race staged in honour of KT’s dad, the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes.
Winx had been targeted to run the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (Mackinnon Stakes for the traditionalists, Turnbull Stakes for the well informed and Melbourne Stakes for the historically minded) at Flemington last year, but Chris Waller scrapped the plan when Winx had to undergo an antibiotics regimen following her seven-length win the Cox Plate.
Judging from last year’s Emirates Stakes results, won by Awesome Rock, a nice, competent horse, Winx may have been the only horse in the finish frame, regardless of how wide an angle lens was used for the shoot.
The VRC spent a recent visit by some of Winx’s owners to woo the connections of the Sydney set. The fact that the race has been moved to a fortnight past the Cox Plate may carry some weight in the choice to run Winx there and there are more than a few that feel that the race was moved specifically to attract her.