Cox Plate proves one-horse race
Trainer Chris Waller has set his sights on a third Cox Plate title with Winx after the amazing mare secured back-to-back victories in the Group One event at Moonee Valley.
Jockey Hugh Bowman celebrates as Winx wins the Cox Plate for the second year at Moonee Valley.
The five-year-old won the 10-furlong contest by four and three-quarter lengths in 2015, but she increased that margin to eight lengths this time with a hugely impressive effort.
French raider Vadamos set the early gallop but he began to toil turning into the straight, just as Winx began her move down the outside.
Hartnell also launched his challenge, briefly leading before Winx swept down the middle of the track, quickly opening up a clear lead before cruising home to extend her unbeaten run to 13 starts.
Hartnell hung on for second from Yankee Rose with Vadamos toughing it out to claim fourth for Andre Fabre.
An emotional Waller immediately nominated a third Cox Plate success as the ultimate aim for Winx, but also raised the possibility of running in Europe in the interim.
He told www.racing.com: "She's been doing that to us for a while. To get to this stage last year was something different for me and to get back here again, with the buiild up, was fantastic.
"For her to win like that is pretty fitting for the horse she is.
"It's fantastic for racing, we've got such a good sport. Everyone can compete, it doesn't matter who you are, everyone is the same on a race track
"It's like a dream – simple as that
"(We'd like to) win a third one. This is Australia's big race and getting to the other side of the world would be good, but she'll be back next year. That's what we're in the game for if the horse is fit and well.
"You respect the Australians and they respect her, so that would be right at the top of the old pecking order."
Winning jockey Hugh Bowman was equally as thrilled with the performance of Winx.
He added: "She's just given us such an amazing ride. I'm lost for words to be honest, to ride a horse like this and come out onto the track and have the crowd cheer you just really moves you.
"To produce a ride worthy of this mare today gives me so much pride.
"I just can't believe it – it's such an amazing experience."