In last Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes Champion mare Winx achieved something that many thought would not be done for a long time winning 25 consecutive races thereby equaling unbeaten mare Black Caviar’s marvellous record.
While Hungarian race mare Kincsem holds the official world record for 54 consecutive wins in the last 1870’s that included feature races in Hungary, Austria, Germany, France and England, in the modern era 25 consecutive is still an outstanding achievement, especially considering the way breeding has developed to make the thoroughbred racing population more competitive at the highest level.
Winx and Hugh Bowman, picture Sportpix.com.au
While many find it hard to split Winx and Black Caviar, or Phar Lap for that matter, Timeform ratings that have been around since 1948 and recognised as the global standard for measurement of thoroughbred race horse performance, does have a process for doing just that.
Black Caviar during her stellar career reached a Timeform rating of 136 making her equal top rated filly or mare in the history of Timeform, a billing she shares with two other outstanding mares Allez France and Habibti.
Winx has threatened to get to that level a few times in her career but remains just shy of it at this point.
Last Saturday the winning effort of Winx was electrifying, coming from last at the 800m to round up a good quality 2000m field and win comfortably by almost four lengths.
Clearly the race comprised depth, with Doncaster Mile and Epsom Handicap winner Happy Clapper engaged along with multiple group 1 winner Humidor - both with Timeform rating of 129. In addition multiple group one winner Gailo Chop (125) and former Japanese galloper Ambitious (122).
Careful analysis shows that Winx matched her previous best Timeform rating of 134. The evidence shows that at the age of six Winx remains as good as she has ever been.
Race standardisation analysis points to Winx having achieved a rating within a tight range of 128-133, as did the ratings profiles of the other runners going into the race and where they finished - Humidor running well below form, Happy Clapper just below (typical for him at 2000m) and Gailo Chop running exactly to form.
A figure of 134, on the high-side of that range, has been arrived at by factoring in sectional times. A steady tempo in the race meant that the overall time was only fair but it only adds merit to the performance of Winx with the wide margins on the line even more impressive in that scenario.
From the 800m mark Winx's finishing speed was 109.3%. An overall time rating of ~104 can be considered to be ~132 based on that closing speed. That, somewhat remarkably, equals her best overall timefigure to date, achieved when winning the 2016 Cox Plate.
The good news for Australian racegoers is that Winx will be back for another preparation and a possible fourth Cox Plate attempt should her form warrant it.