Australia: Sweet 16 for Winx after George Ryder demolition
Winx was sensational yet again in heavy conditions at Rosehill
PICTURE: Getty Images Sweet 16 for Winx after George Ryder demolition By Mark Scully & AAP Racing 8:00AM 18 MAR 2017
Report: Australia, Saturday
Rosehill: China Horse Club George Ryder (Group 1) 7½f, turf, 3yo+
Not for the first time in recent months, Winx (Chris Waller/Hugh Bowman) turned a race billed as a mouthwatering clash into a procession as she pulverised a field that included champion sprinter Chautauqua.
Le Romain, himself a Group 1 winner at his previous start, also lined up for a shot at the brilliant mare but Winx was too good once again, leaving him seven and a quarter lengths adrift in second.
Chautauqua could manage only third, another length and a quarter away, as Winx stretched her unbeaten sequence to 16 races in heavy conditions.
"She is unbelievable," Waller said. "I can't explain it. We try to do our part to make sure she is ready on the day.
"It's a huge responsibility and one we take seriously."
Hugh Bowman added: "She's just so special. I'm at a loss to explain it.
"There is a great deal of responsibility to be involved with her but with that comes a great deal of confidence.
"My only worry is am I going to get on her, canter to the gates one day and feel that engine just isn't there?"
Winx's next start is set to come in the A$4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick during The Championships.
Also on Saturday
Rosehill: Longines Golden Slipper (Group 1) 6f, turf, 2yo
The optimistically named bargain buy She Will Reign (Gary Portelli/Ben Melham) has lived up to the title and more to win the world's richest two-year-old race, worth a total of A$3.5 million.
Her large band of mostly first-time owners form a syndicate put together by Scott Darby who bought the filly as a yearling for A$20,000 (£12,422).
The man who puts the finishing touches on her, Gary Portelli, is among Sydney's leading trainers outside the big four stables which dominate.
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Her jockey Ben Melham rode Black Caviar to her first Group 1 win in October 2010 and was full of confidence before the race.
And the filly herself has always shown talent, with four wins from five starts, the only glitch coming last time out in the Reisling Stakes when she was beaten by Frolic on a heavy track, the same conditions she got on Saturday.
Because of that defeat, She Will Reign eased from Golden Slipper favourite to 7-1 with Houtzen heading betting at 17-5.
As expected, Houtzen led the field but less predictably Melham took She Will Reign back, saved ground on the turn and unleashed her in the straight where she held off Frolic by two and a quarter lengths and land her connections A$2m (£1.24m)
"This is a dream," Portelli said. "I spoke to the jockey before the race and said to him 'I think we have got to go forward'.
"He went quiet and said 'I think I'm going to go back to last. I am cutting the corner. The way I see it I'm on the best horse and I'm going to ride her like she is'."
Rosehill: Nathan's Famous Hotdogs Galaxy Handicap (Group 1) 5½f, turf, 3yo+
Russian Revolution (Peter & Paul Snowden/Kerrin McEvoy) lived up to his name by rebelling when Golden Slipper Day dawned.
And as the toey three-year-old colt prepared for his first race since October at Rosehill, a twisted hind plate added to trainer Paul Snowden's anxieties
Fortunately for Snowden, Russian Revolution made it to the outside barrier and finished the Group 1 A$700,000 (1,100m) The Galaxy with a flourish to edge stablemate Redzel to record a fifth win in six starts, and first at this level.
"I had to do it tough. I was four wide and I had to help him through the ground a bit. I asked him for a supreme effort over the last hundred and he gave his all," McEvoy said.
"They've got him there first-up to perform against older horses. He's a great sprinter in his own right and he's shown that."
Rosehill: Ranvet Stakes (Group 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+
When German stayer Our Ivanhowe (Lee & Anthony Freedman/Kerrin McEvoy) was acquired by his trainers after the Japan Cup in 2014, the Melbourne-based trainers were told they had inherited "the best wet tracker in the world".
And it has taken 14 starts in Australia to justify that billing as, for the first time in his 24-race career, the seven-year-old finally encountered a heavy track on Saturday, and revelled in the conditions at Rosehill to claim the A$700,000 Ranvet Stakes.
Racing for the first time since last year's Melbourne Cup, it was clearly worth the wait for Our Ivanhowe under overcast skies as he scored by three and a quarter lengths.
"It panned out beautifully for us," Anthony Freedman said.
"The agent in Germany who sold him said this is the best wet tracker in the world. Now we just have to find him another one.
"The horse deserves his day in the sun. He's a gentleman, an absolute pleasure to have and we're grateful to have a horse who is so genuine.
"Even on hard tracks when he is feeling the ground he still gives everything. He got his ground (today) and did the job."
Rosehill: Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (Group 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo
Gingernuts (Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards/Opie Bosson) made an immediate impression in Australia by becoming the fourth New Zealand-trained horse in seven years to win the Rosehill Guineas.
The New Zealand Derby winner made his Australian debut in Saturday's race and upstaged the locals in the heavy conditions to continue his rise.
Gingernuts, sent off 11-2, defeated favourite 2-1 Inference by two and a quarter lengths, joining Jimmy Choux (2011), It's A Dundeel (2013) and Volkstok'n'barrell (2015) as recent New Zealand-trained winners of the race.
The gelding needs to be a late entry for the Australian Derby but Richards confirmed the intention to run in the classic at Randwick in two weeks.
"He's going to be awfully hard to beat in a couple of weeks' time," Richards said.
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