After winning the George Rider by seven lengths on a heavy 10 at Rosehill last Saturday, punters all over Australia's have risen to a new level of admiration for the great mare Winx. Twelve months ago Australian racing commentators were whispering the idea that the star mare may be better than Australia's undefeated champion Black Caviar. With Winx having now notched-up sixteen consecutive wins, with each one seemingly coming easier for her, that whisper is becoming louder. Racing commentators are now going on record to declare that Winx is better than Black Caviar.
Comparing race horses isn't an easy business, especially when you consider that Black Caviar was a specialist sprinter, racing between 1000m to 1400m. But here lies a key point for those making the claim. Winx's versatility is one of the key things capturing the hearts of Australian punters having now won stakes races at 1200m, 2200m and distances in between.
Twenty-four of her twenty-six starts have been at stakes level, including both weight-for-age and handicap races.
While she probably hasn't met the best sprinters in Australia at the shorter distances, there's not doubting the quality of her opposition from middle distances and upwards. The George Ryder place getters included Group 1 winner and recognised mud-lark Le Romain and star galloper Chautauqua. Other beaten rivals include Black Heart Bart, Hauraki, Hartnell, Criterion and Happy Clapper, to name a few.
Chris Waller stated that he was surprised how easily Winx won on Saturday considering the conditions. Who's to know how far she would have won by had she gone into fourth or even fifth gear.
Waller is not known for talking-up his runners. He's gone on record to say that he didn't understand the notion of a horse coming back from a spell bigger and better than ever. That is until he trained Winx and witnessed her run in the George Ryder on Saturday - admitting this week that "...she's come back bigger and stronger". In support of Waller's claim, anyone suggesting that she could improve after last year's back-to-back Cox Plate effort would have been laughed at by even the most optimistic trainer. After Saturday's effort however, you would struggle to find anyone who disagrees that she is actually better.
There's no doubt that Black Caviar's unbeaten record over 25 career starts is a milestone that won't be surpassed in our life time. The last time that Winx saw the back of a rival as she passed the winning post was back when she was a three-year-old filly, since then she has been undefeated. At the earliest, punters will have to wait until this time next year to see if she can match Black Caviar's 25 in-a-row record, but going on recent form, it's hard to see how she won't.
Career earnings for Winx have now passed $10 million. If she wins her next start, she will pass Sunline's career prize money with only triple Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva left to pass.
Winx's next test comes in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on April 1, when she attempts to get her first victory over 2200m. It's not a distance that is foreign to her though. She was runner-up in the Australian Oaks at Randwick as a three-year-old, and now that she's bigger and better than ever, she will be well and truly up to it.
Before you decide who is better, learn more about the career of Black Caviar at theGreatTipOff.com.