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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Sweet 16 for superstar Winx as high class rivals fail to land a blow

Winx: peerless once again at Rosehill
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Not for the first time in recent months, Winx turned a race billed as a mouthwatering clash into a procession as she pulverised a Group 1 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 in the China Horse Club George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday, 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, ridden by Hugh Bowman, stretched her unbeaten winning sequence to 16 in heavy conditions.

"She's unbelievable," said trainer Chris Waller. "I can't explain it. We try to do our part to make sure she's ready on the day. It's a huge responsibility and one we take seriously."

Bowman added: "She's just so special. There's 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 due to be in the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick during The Championships in April.

On the same card, optimistically-named bargain buy She Will Reign lived up to the title to win the world's richest two-year-old race, the Group 1 Golden Slipper.

Her large band of mostly first-time owners form a syndicate put together by Scott Darby, who bought the filly as a yearling for $20,000. Saturday's first prize was more than £1 million. She is trained by Gary Portelli and was partnered by Ben Melham.

The Group 1 Ranvet Stakes went to ex-German-trained Our Ivanhoe, who has been with trainers Lee and Anthony Freedman for nearly two years now and was winning his second top-level contest under Kerrin McEvoy, and the fourth of his career.

William Buick finished second in the Ranvet on Hartnell, after which he was fourth behind Winx on Hauraki. He also rode Trekking to finish 12th in the Golden Slipper.

Race results

There is a great deal of responsibility to be involved with her but with that comes a great deal of confidence

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