Winx: A once in a generation thoroughbred racer
Only on few occasions do horses come and capture the imagination of a generation like Winx did. Foaled by Vegas Showgirl, a New Zealand dam, and Street Cry, an Irish bred stallion and winner of the 2002 Dubai World Cup, Winx was always going to have a great racing career.
However, this winning pedigree was not evident at first, and horse lovers did not think of her highly during the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. As a yearling, she sold 59th for $230,000 to a Magic Bloodstock Racing partnership. Her owners have insisted that she was not their first choice, but her rise from relative obscurity to complete dominance in the race-track vindicated their purchase.
Her racing records are unprecedented, and it will take a special horse to best them. Unbeaten in 37 of the 43 races she participated in, Winx's illustrious 4-year career was like a dream to her legion of worldwide fans. She won AUD 26,451,175 for her connections, was a four-time horse of the year, and is an inductee of Australia's Racing Hall of Fame.
Place of birth: Coolmore Stud, Jerry's Plains in the Hunter Region of New South Wales.
Date of birth: September 14, 2011
Age of death: Alive as of Dec 2020
Racing career: May 2015 - April 2019
Owner: A partnership between Peter Tighe (Magic Bloodstock Racing), Richard Treweeke, and Debbie Kepitis
Trainer: Chris Waller
Sire: Street Cry, Irish bred stallion
Dam: Vegas Showgirl, a New Zealand mare
Jockey/s: Hugh Bowman (Most regular), Tommy Berry, Jason Collet, and James McDonald
Records: 25 Group One wins, world best
Career earnings: $26,451,175
Since her maiden race, a win, as a two-year-old at Warwick Farm, Winx went on to forge a spectacular 12-year career characterized by complete dominance in the racecourse. During this time, Winx racked up 37 wins in 43 race starts, finished out of the placings on only three occasions, and went into retirement on the back of an impressive 33-races unbeaten streak.
As a versatile champion mare who raced over 2200, 2040, 2000, 1600, 1500, 1400, 1300, 1200, and 1100 meter stretches in her careers, Winx crossed the finish line more times than any of her competitors. Winx holds the record for most Cox Plates (4), which she won in quick succession between 2015 and 2018. She has also won the Chipping Norton and George Ryder Stakes 4 times, the George Main Stakes 3 times, and the Turnbull and Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2 times each.
Winx did not only fill her trophy cabinet, but she also broke records too. She holds the W.S. Cox Plate track record time of 2:02.94s, which she broke twice, and is also the Apollo Stakes track record holder since 2019. Her four back-to-back Cox Plate wins, 33 races unbeaten winning streak, and $26,451,175 prize money earnings place her in uncharted territory and reinforces her claims as one of the greatest thoroughbred racers.
Winx's name was given by Richard Treweeke, one of her partner owners. Inspired by Winx dam, Vegas Showgirl, and the 1970s and 80s Las Vegas burlesque shows where men would "wink" at exotic dancers, Treweeke named their new filly addition Winx.
While winning dominated her days at the racecourse, Winx transitioned to life as a super broodmare on retirement. The wonder horse was pregnant with I Am Invincible's filly and was due to deliver in October 2020. Unfortunately, she lost her foal on the morning of 13th October 2020. While she remains in good health after that incident, the wait to see an heir who will fill the large shoes she left continues.
Winx did not have the longest stride as other similar dominant horses such as Black Caviar and Phar Lap. However, where she lacked in long stride, the dark bay mare from Australia compensated with a "freakish" running cadence, according to Dr. Graeme Putt, a University of Auckland physics scholar. This trait allowed her to coast or accelerate with ease during races while out-striding her opponents to the finish line.