Wonder mare Winx storms to record fourth Cox Plate

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Winx wins Cox Plate for fourth time

29th straight win for Australian mare

CNN  — 

Superstar mare Winx underlined her reputation as one of the greatest racehorses of all time by claiming a record fourth Cox Plate Saturday in Melbourne.

The world’s number one-rated thoroughbred brushed aside the expected challenge from Britain’s Benbatl with a trademark acceleration in the final furlong at Moonee Valley to win by two lengths.

The Chris Waller-trained seven-year-old was securing her 29th straight win, stretching back to April 2015, 22 of them in Group One races.

“I can’t believe it,” said jockey Hugh Bowman, who timed his run perfectly in the home straight. “I’m just proud to be part of this amazing story.”

The pre-race talk had centered around the threat posed by Benbatl from the powerful Godolphin string, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, putting Winx’s winning streak under threat, but the fears proved unfounded.

“I really felt (the pressure) this week, more than I have before,” admitted Bowman.

Bowman had Winx well-placed from the start of the 10-furlong (2040m) test, with Benbatl, ridden by Oisin Murphy, and Aidan O’Brien’s runner Rostropovich also prominent.

Ryan Moore made the first move for home with Rostropovich followed by Benbatl, but Winx tracked them both before unleashing her run to devastating effect.

“Winx is a superstar, the best of the best,” beaten trainer Saeed bin Suroor said.

“Benbatl ran a good race but she is something special.”

Fast-finishing Humidor finished third with Rostropovich fading to fifth.

It was the dream result for the darling of Australian horse racing in front of an expectant home crowd.

“Everyone watching gets so much joy and pleasure out of the superb ability of this wonderful horse. The fact she’s been able to do it so many times consecutively just speaks volumes for the management of her,” added Bowman.

Record-breaking Winx

With career winnings of $14 million and a string of records, she broke the legendary Black Caviar’s Australian win mark earlier this year, Winx may now be drawing to the end of her racing career.

Waller would not be drawn on her future ahead of the famous Cox Plate race which has been held every year since 1922, but Winx has already cemented her place in racing folklore.

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Part-owner Debbie Kepitis was in tears after the latest triumph. “It’s surreal really – four Cox Plates, how do you describe that?

“We’ve beat the overseas horses and I thank them for the bottom of my heart for coming over. She’s shown the talent she has – what a horse.”

Winx had been tied for Cox Plate wins with Kingston Town, who claimed three between 1980 and 1982.