Fourth George Ryder for Winx

Winx continued to clock up Group 1 victories with consummate ease as she romped home in the 2019 renewal of the $1 million The Agency George Ryder Stakes over 1500m at Rosehill on Saturday. In doing so the mare claimed her fourth George Ryder victory in succession, her 24th Group 1 victory, her 36th overall win and her 32nd victory in succession.

Winx and Bowman cruise to victory in the George Ryder, photo

Hugh Bowman kept the Chris Waller trained Winx wide and out of trouble in the early stages, waiting until the 200m mark before allowing Winx to hunt down longtime leaders Brutal (NZ) and Tommy Berry and Dreamforce under Damian Lane. The mare put the race to bed in a matter of strides, winning by 3.5 lenghts from Brutal, with Dream Force in third a further 2.75 lengths back.  The winning time was 1:32.20 with the last 600m in 34.88.

Lane sent Dreamforce into the lead early on with Berry and Brutal stalking them closely, while Bowman was content to sit out back on Winx. Midway through the race Bowman moved the mare up, sitting four wide around the turn, before allowing her to cruise up to the leaders with 400m to go. Bowman waited until the 200m mark, before a shake of the reins sent the mare on her way and into the lead. Brutal and Berry chased hard, but the race was long over.

Winx went off at $1.05, the shortest price since she commenced her 32 race winning streak. In total $1.835 million was placed on Winx to win the George Ryder Stakes with TAB Fixed Odds.

Apples for Bowman, picture

“I guess it was a different sort of run race”, said Waller A little bit of pressure early, they backed off, Hughie popped out four wide with a bit of arrogance as we’ve seen him do and as he’s entitled to do. Obviously everyone expects her to win and that’s one of the reasons she does. 

“Every other jockey I’m telling not to be three wide but with her we have to be three wide to stay out of trouble. It’s the longest way home and it was a good fight but the last 200m she just powered away.  

“She’s a very special horse. I’m sure she’s know what’s going on. Just a marvellous horse to work with and we owe it to her to be in this position.

“I know The Queen is fully aware of Winx and we’re very proud of that. We’ve had messages from time to time. She’s brought the world closer to Australian racing. We haven’t been there but we don’t need to be worrying about that. We can just enjoy this for a racing moment that will be remembered for a long time here.”

“The pace was pretty good in the early stages”, said Bowman. “I settled towards the rear of the field, as she often does, and when they slowed up the pace in the middle I was staying out wide on the better ground cause it’s quite chewed up on the inside with the conditions here this afternoon, so the pace steadied and I just crept a bit closer. I rode her like a piece of trackwork. Obviously I was more assertive with her over the last 300m than I would be here early in the mornings but for her it was very comfortable.

“When I asked her to stretch she responded and you could hear the crowd roar. The excitement and the emotion, she responds to that as well as anything else, and once again I am just so proud of her and proud to be a part of it.

“The ground today, although it’s a beautiful afternoon, the ground is significantly testing,  and it was quite similar to how it was two years ago when she annihilated Le Romain. Because she works on the track she is very comfortable and has a lot of confidence on it. I think that helps her to perform.

“I would never have imagined in those days growing up that I would be riding one of the greatest horses that has ever lived.”

Winx, out of the Al Akbar mare Vega Showgirl, was racing for the 42nd time earning stakes of $24,009,675 for owners Richard Treweeke, Debbie Kapitis and Peter Tighe’s Magic Bloodstock.

Bowman salutes the crowd as co-owner Debbie Kapitis leads Winx back to the winners stall, picture

George Ryder Stakes, photo finish picture ATC