Winx Wins Again While Waller Walks Away with Treasure Haul
Winx makes it 31 in a row by winning the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600 m) at Randwick. No surprise there.
Of the field of seven, six of the horses were from Chris Waller’s stables. Again, no surprise.
Happy Clapper ran second and the betting ahead of the race held up, as Happy Clapper was on the second line leading up. Trainer Patrick Webster and Happy Clapper’s connections made a good strategic decision to chase the $114,000 prize for second.
The Chipping Norton pays down to 10th place. With only seven runners, $18,000 went begging. Waller horses pulled in $456,000 of the $600,000 on offer.
That $456,000 figure works out to 76 percent.
Unless something changes, Winx will run two more times, the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill nearer the end of March and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick mid-April.
She will finish with 33 consecutive wins, 25 of which will be at Group 1 level. Winning the Chipping moved her to the head of the list for Group 1 wins, breaking the record of a European jumper by the name of Hurricane Fly.
She won the Chipping in typical fashion, waiting until the last possible moment to unleash a drive to the line that left Happy Clapper almost two lengths behind.
Winx jockey Hugh Bowman admitted that there was a point when he thought that the end of Winx’s streak had finally arrived.
“I think today when you watch the replay, at the 700-meter mark you would have thought she was out of business. Another jockey may have thought that, but I knew when I balanced up she was going to rally. There was no way Happy Clapper could sustain that speed, and I knew that when she balanced up, she would have the energy required to reel him in.”
Watching the replay made us think that we were watching a replay of any other Winx race.